LIBERIA: CEMESP, IWL Conducts First Media Training on Women Political Participation
Gbarnga 4th October 2022: In a concerted effort, the Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, (CEMESP) and partner on the project, Integrity Watch Liberia, (IWL), over the weekend concluded a three day gender sensitive political coverage and reporting in Gbarnga Bong County.
The Training workshop is part of the Liberia Electoral Support Project (LESP}) , in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia/ SIDA, the Embassy of Ireland/Irish aid, the National Elections Commission of Liberia, UNDP and UN Women.
This first phase of four regional training workshops held from September 28-30, 2022, targeted twenty five community radio journalists and social media networks from Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Margibi counties.
They have benefited from a specially designed manual that covered a range of topics intended to deepen the understanding of training recipients on critical gender concepts and contextual appreciation of what women political participation challenges and barriers in the country.
The trainers Carolyn Myres Zoduah and Tennen Dalieh Tahoungue with support from CEMESP S Senior Program Officer Albert Ansu, have effectively transmitted the training content to enhance the understanding of the participants in responding to the seism in media, issues of gender inequality, stereotyping, the ways in which media can hurt women in politics and elections and skills and tools on how to effectively cover and report on women during elections.
Madam Ruth Gbatoe CEMESP Project Officer at the start of the training held at the Women Center in Gbarnga Bong county, provided an over of the project in a welcome remark stressing the point about the need for positive portrayal of women in politics in Liberia especially as the country is looking to a critical elections next year. She said the project activities entail creation of a platform for training of journalists on gender sensitive political coverage and reporting, gender profiling, conducting of focus group discussion and training, development of spot messages and support to other media development groups with shared objectives in de-emphasizing slanderous comments against women aspiring for elective offices in Liberia.
Speaking on behalf of the Mayor of Gbarnga city, Pastor John Fogba lauded the initiative of CEMESP and IWL describing it as useful for the development of Liberia. He said the Mayor is very keen and supportive of such effort to politically empower women. He reminded the participants about their role as voice of the voiceless and expressed hope that at the end of the training the journalists will use the knowledge acquired to promote women political participation in Liberia.
Participants male and female journalists exhibited high sense of passion for the topic and were in position to bring out the county specific experience on the challenges that fraught covering and reporting women in politics. They all generally stated in post test evaluations that the training has enriched their knowledge on various issues of gender political empowerment.
At the end of the workshop on Friday September 30, 2022, the journalists adopted a a communique committing to promote women candidates in the 2023 Elections under the banner of the proposed network of Journalists to promote Women political participation in Liberia.