The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has concluded the training of 336 journalists in reporting on Sexual and Gender based violence, with the last training concluded in Garowe, the capital of Puntland State of Somalia.
The training was jointly organized by NUSOJ and the Federal Ministry for Women and Human Rights Development (MoWHRD) with support from the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA).
Conducted over the course of 6 capacity building workshops in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo, Beledwyne, Galkayo and Garowe, the training that started in July, involved female and male journalists in Mogadishu and the 5 Federal Member States of Somalia.
Each of the three-day training sessions targeted 40 journalists but was oversubscribed, resulting in a total of 336 trained. The training sessions sought to impart skills that will help participants report on Sexual and Gender based violence in a professional and ethically responsible manner.
Women made up 52 percent of the trainees who were selected to reflect the geographical diversity of Somalia.
"Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Somalia is an old problem that is likely to be around for a long time to come. Matters have not been helped by the confinements forced by the Covid-19 pandemic," said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
"But as the country slowly recovers and returns to normalcy, it is the duty of journalists to expose this prevalent crime and the impunity of sexual violence against women and girls in Somali society. To play this role effectively, it is necessary that journalists are in the first place equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognize and report on SGBV with clarity and in an ethically responsible manner," highlighted Osman.
Osman further observed that while it is important for journalists to expose the rising and prevalent crimes of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, journalists must also avoid adding to the trauma suffered by the survivors.
"Media is central to any campaign to create awareness about this issue within the population. But the media will only have a positive impact, if their reportage of incidents of gender-based violence is based on irrefutable facts. That is what we are trying to achieve through these training activities," Osman explained.