A two day workshop is ongoing in Accra to train female journalists and female photographers on gender, equity and safety related issues on the job.
The programme organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), seeks to equip participants to handle gender issues at the workplace efficiently.
In her presentation, a facilitator of Gender, Safety and Equity Campaign, Mrs Alice Tettey was of the view that although female journalists and photographers undergo same journalism training, there is discrimination against most female journalists with regard to remuneration, promotion and assignments, among others.
Mrs Tettey who is also a journalist said women were treated as second class to their male counterparts when it comes to the aforementioned issues.
According to her, the training was therefore to equip the female journalists to know their rights when it comes to such matters.
“We believe it was time issues such as remuneration differences, promotional differences, assignments and all other issues affecting women in the newsroom come to an end”, she said.
Mrs Alice Tettey interacting with participants
For her part, Ms Georgina Ama Ankumah also a facilitator, said it was high time sexual harassment of female journalists and photographers in the offices was curtailed.
She said most ladies go through hard times to secure jobs as well as to maintain the jobs but are either sexually harassed or discriminated against.
She said for example that female journalists are not given equal job opportunities in the newsroom as their male counterparts.
She said the training therefore aims at equipping the participants with skills and knowledge to increase their personal safety and security at the workplace and on duty.
“We believe that if we are going to be agents of change then one of the first thing we have to do is to start getting knowledge. If you get knowledge, you become dangerous to everybody who wants to oppress you, because they can take everything from you but they cannot take the knowledge from your brains”.
“The change about gender issues will not come if you wait for the time, other people or some other time will not be relevant to the change. We are the ones we have been waiting for, we are the change we seek and we seek it through education which is very key”.
Ms Georgina Ama Ankumah in a training session
In her welcome address, the Treasurer of the GJA, Mrs. Linda Asante- Agyei said the GJA acknowledges the role played by female journalists and female photo journalists in executing the core functions of the media profession dominated by men.
According to her, female journalists regularly need to tackle the field challenges like their male colleagues, however daunting those might be, adding that, notwithstanding, the organisational space within which they need to operate poses additional challenges, which are often gender specific leading to inequitable working conditions.
She said it is against this background that the GJA in collaboration with the IFJ was organising the training workshop for the participants.
She said participants will in turn train others to advocate for gender equality in the newsroom and on the field.
Topics to be treated are Gender Equity: Proritising the Issues, Accepting Difference, Dealing with Discrimination, Journalists' Rights and Gender Safety, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Analysis, Safety in the Field: Gendering Standard Operating procedures, among others.
The two facilitators were part of a similar programme organised by IFJ in Kenya with participants from Ghana, Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya.