Create awareness of gender-based issues - Canadian envoy tells journalists

BY: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor& Serwah Nkyira Opoku
The participants with the resource person, Mr Mohammed M. Adam (3rd right, front row)
The participants with the resource person, Mr Mohammed M. Adam (3rd right, front row)

The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Heather Cameron, has encouraged the media to continue to create awareness of gender-based issues and to use their voices to end harmful practices that are gender related.

She also entreated the media to contribute to a safer Ghana and nurture an environment that is conducive for the positive growth and development of girls and boys.

Ms Cameron made the statement in a speech read for her at a one-day training workshop for journalists in Kumasi on Ethical Gender Reporting.

Organised by the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, in partnership with the Centre of Journalism and Ethics (CJE), the training formed part of activities marking this year’s campaign of 16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.

It was aimed at equipping the participants with the skills to effectively report on gender-based violence and to also expose them to the effective use the media to create awareness of the negative effects of gender violence and to also educate the public on acts that constitute gender violence.

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The High Commissioner said she was hopeful that the training would equip the participants with requisite tools and skills on ethical reporting, particularly on gender-based issues, to have a positive impact in terms of prevention and protection of victims.

In his address, the Director of the CJE, Mr Mohammed Adam, asked journalists to be sensitive to the plights of victims of sexual assault and exhibit a sense of professionalism when writing stories about such people.

According to him, stories on sexual assaults ought not to be detailed to the extent of describing how the act took place and the very details of the acts that could easily remind the victim of the incident.

He asked journalists to avoid stereotyping women and portraying them in a negative way.

According to him, ethical reporting was about fairness, accuracy and integrity since “what we write can have a significant impact on people and institutions.”