Female journalists advised to invest in personal safety

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Female Journalists Safety Workshop
Female Journalists Safety Workshop

Mrs Eyram Bashan, a renowned journalist, has advised female journalists to invest in their safety in the course of their duties.

They should not only engage law enforcement agents when they felt their lives were being threatened but also rely on lawyers, among others.

She-journalists, as she called them, should be extra careful when performing their duties to make sure they were alive to tell their stories.

She was addressing a conference on the safety of female journalists in Ghana organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with funding from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Ghana.

The conference was held as part of the activities of MFWA to mark the 2021 International Day to End Crimes against Journalists, which falls on Tuesday, November 2.

She cautioned female journalists against “selling themselves” but know their self-worth as with time, good employers would come for them.

They should not forget to develop their skills, which would enable them to negotiate for the best price they deserved.

With all these, they should not forget to depend on loved ones for emotional support.

Apart from their safety, the journalists should also ensure they sought and negotiated properly for safety nets from their employers.

Mrs Bashan called on media owners to invest in the female work force by properly securing their insurance, health insurance, and social security.

Speaking on the topic: safety and security of female journalists, she said a female-friendly atmosphere should be created for them, provide safety structures, including seeking legal redress for them and open fair and gender-sensitive adjudicative structures.

They should be put on proper recruitment structure, provide counselling for them and gender balance promotion, the guest speaker added.

She said because of She-journalists’ make-up (empathic, compassionate), they usually told better stories as they give necessary details to make their stories beautiful thus the need to invest in them.

Muheed Saeed, Programme Manager, Freedom of Expression at MFWA, discouraged the rising attacks on female journalists not only in Ghana but across the globe.

He called on media owners to make the safety of female journalists, who were more vulnerable, a priority.

Muheeb Saeed said it was a shared responsibility for journalists to exercise precautions as the media owners also ought to have safety policies in place and enforce them.

Muheed added that in the advocacy to have female journalists protected, regulatory organisations of the media must step in to hold owners accountable.

Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, Vice President, Ghana Journalists Association, advised participants to join professional bodies to seek redress.

Shamima Muslim, convenor of Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), told participants to strive for higher heights amid the adversity they faced.

She assured that AWMA and its stakeholders would continue to work to push the agenda to provide a safer environment for all at the workplace.

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