By Millicent Senava Mannah
The Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) with support from UN Women and Irish Aid, has trained female Journalists, specifically members of the Sierra Leone Association of Women in Journalism (SLAWIJ) on how to protect and advance women’s priority issues to policymakers/duty bearers through the media on the 24th May, 2023, at the Vanilla Complex, Aberdeen in Freetown.
Marcella Samba-Sesay intimated that the training is part of their project titled, “Building Advocacy Collectives for Women Empowerment” also maintaining how it is useful to train Journalists on how to protect and advance women’s priority issues to policymakers/duty bearers.
She stated that there are lots of opportunities in the GEWE Act 2022, the Public Elections Act for women adding that if women are not aware of those policies they cannot push the issues and the boundaries.
Marcella disclosed that she has been critical because she wants to push forward the interest of the marginalized and deprived in the country.
‘’It is imperative that we all have platforms but how can we manage those platforms to advocate for policies that will maximize their full potentials,’’ she asked saying there is the need to create space for kids at workplaces or programs for nursing mothers so that no woman is left out stressing that, it is the participants who have to put women in the lime light.
‘’We recognize the inputs female Journalists have made but we need equity before equality,’’ Marcella Samba-Sesay said.
She disclosed how on a couple of times she has been attacked for saying the same things that her male counterparts have said without being attacked just because she is a woman.
The President of (SLAWIJ), Millicent Kargbo, commended CGG, Irish Aid and UN Women for organizing such a training for her members. She disclosed how their organization is made up of women from different media houses geared towards promoting their interests and proffering solutions to problems affecting them.
She also revealed that they have had lot of training on gender sensitive reporting, but said this is the first on policy making.
According to her, the media is a powerful tool and in concert with other members they will do their best to advocate for and push the interests of their fellow women.
Valnora Edwin, Chairperson Africa Women Leadership Network SL Chapter, one of the trainers, took participants through the journey of Women’s Empowerment in Sierra Leone and the relevance of the GEWE Policy 2020 and Act 2022.
She further dilated on advocacy techniques to advance women’s empowerment provisions in the GEWE Policy and Act for the attention of policymakers, duty-bearers and service providers.
Battu B. Jambawai, from the Office of the Vice President, touched on the content and spirit of each provision in the GEWE Policy of 2020 and Act 2022 and their relevance to women’ empowerment.
Yeama Thompson engaged participants on engaging policymakers for the implementation of women’s empowerment policies and laws like the GEWE Policy and Act using the media.
She further facilitated on projecting women’s empowerment interest stories through the media and reporting women’s priority policy issues for public attention and support.