By Amin Kef Sesay
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Media Reform Coordinating Group- Sierra Leone (MRCG-SL) and Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) have conducted a one-day training workshop on women’s rights online issues in Sierra Leone for 40 female journalists, bloggers and activists in Freetown on 20th April, 2021.
With funding support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the workshop is aimed at improving digital literacy of 40 women (female journalists, women’s rights activists, bloggers and among others) leading to increased advocacy for women’s rights online issues in Sierra Leone.
“The MRCG is delighted to join hands with MFWA and WIMSAL to capacitate 40 women (female journalists, women’s rights activists, and bloggers on digital literacy and rights. We are optimistic that this one-day training workshop will serve as a foundation in creating an enabling internet environment that respects women online right and as well increase public awareness on women’s right online issues in Sierra Leone,” says Dr. Francis Sowa, National Coordinator of the MRCG.
“It is obvious that the advent of new media (Social Media) gives everyone the opportunity to become digital citizen and save modern society time to interact and share relevant information in record time. As we grapple with it in the physical world, gender gap and the violation of women’s rights such as cyber bullying and intruding on women’s privacy in Sierra Leone’s virtual community is increasingly becoming worrisome. This requires our timely, appropriate and collective actions as Journalists, Activists and Bloggers. Part of these collective actions is what we are here for today, that is to have a one-day training workshop on the issues of women’s rights in our digital community,” stated Femi Jarrett-Coker, President of WIMSAL.
At the workshop, the 40 women were introduced to Digital Rights, Social Media and Online Privacy and Identifying and Dealing with Online Abuses against women. They were also trained on Digital Storytelling and Digital Content Creation.
The workshop also trained female journalists, women’s rights activists, and bloggers on the effective ways of promoting women’s rights online in Sierra Leone, and further fashion ways of how participants can collaborate and contribute to Women’s Rights Online advocacy to increase public awareness and respect for online rights to help ensure that an enabling internet environment is created for women to access and use the Internet and benefit from its potential.