UN Communications Group Hosts Media Workshop to Promote Gender Equality in Liberia
Monrovia – About 30 media practitioners have benefited from a media one-day workshop on promoting gender equality for sustainable development organized by the United Nations Communications Group in Liberia in collaboration with the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FEJAL).
The media workshop was held on Wednesday at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia to increase the knowledge of media practitioners in Liberia on issues of gender equality, sustainable development and climate change and provide a forum for exchange of ideas on how the media can promote gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.
It was held in line with the global theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and national theme, “Breaking barriers, set the stage for gender equality.”
“The UN recognizes the pivotal role of the media in shaping people’s opinions and perceptions and in helping people construct their identities, social norms and values in relation to gender,” says Milena Harizanova, Acting Deputy Representative for UNICEF.
She was speaking on behalf of the UN Communications Group and the United Nations in Liberia. “We realize that the media are an important stakeholder in promoting gender equality. We are therefore gathered here today to set the stage for gender equality and break all barriers that hinder promotion and achievement of gender equality in Liberia,” she said.
Gender equality is Goal 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. While gender equality is captured as a stand-alone goal, it cuts across all the sustainable development goals and can accelerate achievement of the goals.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Madam Williametta Saydee-Tarr graced the occasion and expressed gratitude to UN Women, UN communications group and FEJAL for organizing the media workshop. She also applauded journalists for their role in promoting gender equality.
“Without you, the voice of victims of sexual and gender-based violence, for example will not be heard across the country and to that I say thank you,” said Madam Saydee-Tarr.
She told the media that the doors of her Ministry are open to provide information on what the MGCSP is doing. We hope that we will see more of you coming up to us to get information.
Minister Saydee-Tarr also highlighted that most of the time people report that cases of rape are going up, but in actual fact, people are actually reporting more. “There is heightened awareness because you are doing a lot of work and people are coming out to report,” she said.
Meanwhile, journalists’ knowledge on promoting gender equality in Liberia was enhanced by various presentations delivered by UN staff and other stakeholders. Mr Rarmon Garway, UN Women Program Manager for Women Economic Empowerment and Jangai Lisa Gbemie, IOM Program Support Staff and Gender Focal Person delivered presentations on promoting gender equality for sustainable development, while Michael Vawah, WFP Resilience and capacity strengthening focal point made a presentation on climate change in the context of Liberia, and its impact on women and girls.
Mrs. Siatta Scott Johnson, President of the Female Journalists Association, Alexander Cole, National Civil Society Council Communication Officer and Gloriah Ganyani, UN Women Communications Specialist delivered presentations on the role of the media in promoting gender equality in Liberia.
Ms. Ghoma Karloweah, UN Women Liberia Acting Head of Programs facilitated the official session of program and highlighted that she was impressed that the number of women in the media is increasing compared to previous years where the field was mainly, male dominated.
The journalists who attended the meeting committed to increase coverage on women’s issues. They however highlighted that many women were not very comfortable to work with the media and recommended that the government, UN and development partners should support them and hold capacity building sessions on gender sensitive reporting.
UN Women supported the event in collaboration with the UN Communications group and FEJAL. The UN Communications group comprises of communications officers from various UN agencies within the United Nations family.