IAWRT's Regional Conference: Women in Media share stories about violence Online & Offline, share best practices

A 2 day Regional Conference held this November in Yaoundé which brought together Women in Media across the board, drawn from different parts of Cameroon to sit at a common platform and share experiences inline with doing work professionally amidst the odds.

They met to discuss under the theme; "Creating Safe and Productive Spaces for Women in Media", an occasion for Women in Media to share professional ethics in journalism, regardless the bullying online and offline, share experiences on how Women in Media can be more productive at their job despite rising conflicts and other challenges especially when working online. 

IAWRT's Cameroon Chapter head

According to Tchonko Becky Bissong, Cameroon Chapter Head - IAWRT remains resilient in the face of diverse conflicts. The association stands for solidarity with media women victims of Conflict. She spoke to Civiclens and was very particular about the role Journalists should play in mainstreaming peace in the society.

"While we talk about sexual harassment in newsrooms or violence against women in the society, there is alot of violence onlineg..We are going to touch on the role of Journalists in mainstreaming peace in the society".

"We want to be able to Advocate for government and business persons to invest in filmmaking domain and promote women in media. Lastly we would have a members. 
My hope is not only to recruit more members into IAWRT but that as we are tackling new partners like the UN Women, IAWRT should be able to have a sustainable permanent constant partner that young women would be able to benefit from scholarships, grants to do documentaries. This way we would be fulfilled in our  profession in whatever domain or arm of the media that we have chosen", Tchonko Becky, IAWRT Cameroon.

Amongst other objectives, Women in Media are expected to be apt in detecting different forms of violence targeting women in general and media women in particular, sensitize media women on their role to counter hatespeech by practicing peace Journalism, build their capacities to optimize production, arm them with defense mechanism against sexual harassment which jeopardizes their safety, providing them with safety tips when reporting in context of conflict and setting up safe spaces through which Women in Media can practice and excel. 

UN Women Representative 

UN Women is who is strategic partner to ensure that the rights of women are protected and promoted, explained that the workshop was timely as Women in Media remain prone, vulnerable to attacks online and offline. 

"The activity of this morning with IAWRT is for us to be strategic because we all know the number of challenges that women are facing in the Media. Some of them are related to the position of women in the media, in terms of decision making, other issues are related to the treatment of women within the media, others are related to the harassment and Gender Based violence that women are facing in the media environment". 

"For all these reasons UN Women at the global and national levels have Committed itself to supporting the Media. This activity is key in terms of advocacy, in terms of awareness raising, bringing all women actors round the table to talk about these issues and to make recommendations to see how to better face these challenges. To come up with a form of response mechanism, in order to see how to bring all actors like government to make sure that the issues are well addressed", Representative, UN Women. 

IAWRT was founded in 1951, the world 's oldest organization for female journalists and media researchers it's now a global network, grown with chapters in 14 countries with more than 400 members, with mission to achieve gender equality by strengthening initiatives towards ensuring that women's views and values are an integral part of the media. 

Michelle Ferrier is IAWRT's International President, she ans other members from other continents, shared knowledge and experience via zoom during the training, as a way on empowering Cameroon Women in Media. 


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