Journalists trained on FGM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Association of Health Journalists of The Gambia (AOHJ) in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently organised a 3-day workshop for 30 journalists across the country on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Isatou Touray executive director of Gamcotrap said her organisation is proud to be associated with this phenomenal initiative which seeks to build the awareness and sensitivity of media practitioners and media houses not only on effective reporting on a topic that has been subjected to unprecedented debates and propaganda in the media overtime, but to also help journalists, including senior editors, to develop objective analysis of issues regarding the practice of FGM in the best interest of Gambian women and girls.
She revealed that over the past years, Gamcotrap has taken the initiative to train media practitioners on the health effects of FGM on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls. “They are now beginning to see evidence of the impact of those initiatives from the responsible reporting monitored on the subject matter; which has become a hallmark of many media houses particularly the print media. This initiative today is also a manifestation of such an impact, but it is more relevant and important since it shows the level of concern and commitment from the media to ensure the promotion of the health and well being of women and girls,” she explained. “This is indeed in the right direction, and it is through such initiative that sustainable change is possible in the campaign to eradicate FGM within a highly resistant society,” she added.
For his part, Pa Modou Faal, the president of the Health Journalists Association, said it is an important day as far as the media are concerned, on the eradication of FGM. He pointed out that the media are the voice of the people and represent the community, so they need to be informed before they can sensitise the community properly. Faal urged the participants to take the training seriously as they are expected to draw an action plan on how to raise greater awareness on the FGM in the country at the end of the session.
Author: by Fatoumata Mbenga & Fatou Jallow