Male and female Journalists drawn from the print and electronic media on Tuesday 30th November 2010 started a three days training on reporting Gender Based Violence (GBV) at the British Council Hall in Freetown.
The training is organized by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) in partnership with the British Council.
The training will build the skills and knowledge of Journalists on reporting GBV. The training aims to increase the quality and amount of well-informed media coverage of GBV issues by sensitizing participants on the issues and challenges faced in coverage, as well as providing them with available resources.
The training is being facilitated by Lesley Abdela, a senior partner in ‘Shevolution consultancy' and a journalist.
She has 20 years experience in the fields of gender and democratic development.
In her statement the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Haja Saidata Sesay described GBV as any act or practice that result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering because of a person's gender or socially defined role.
She added that GBV takes various forms like domestic violence, sexual violence, harmful traditional practices, femicide, sexual harassment, trafficking and sex work, child abuse and even transactional sex.
The Deputy Minister averred that “we as political leaders are perturbed by the fact that GBV remains hidden because it is often considered a private matter”. Sesay reiterated that the media is one of the most important socializing influences in people's lives.
She considered the training on behalf of President Koroma a laudable gesture, as it will enhance the capacity of our media professionals to make the issue of GBV a priority in their daily news coverage.
In her welcome address, the Director of British Council Louisa Waddingham thanked SLAJ and WIMSAL for organizing such training. She added that journalists have a role to play in giving well informed and balanced reporting to the public.
The Facilitator Lesley Abdela highlighted topics and issues that will be discussed in the training.