Source: allAfrica

A colourful ceremony was held in Accra yesterday to relaunch the Association of Women in the Media (ASWIM), an all female affiliate of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

The group is aimed at recognising the works of female journalists across the country to forge a united front and bring about change on the Ghanaian media landscape.

It would also serve as a capacity building platform to harness the skills of journalists to help promote women's agenda and gender equity in the society.

The relaunch held on the theme, "Ghana's development needs strategic contributions from women in the media: The role of ASWIM", had in attendance distinguished personalities including the first female president of the GJA, Mrs Gifty Afenyi Dadzie, Nana Ama Asiamah Dokua, a Deputy Minister of Information and chairperson of the National Media Commission, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Appenteng.

Various heads of media institutions, veteran journalists, civil society groups, foreign journalists among others were also represented at the event.

A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Her Ladyship Justice Cecilia Sowah underscored the significance of ASWIM to address issues of gender equity, marginalisation and women empowerment in the country.

To her, the rebirth of the association was timely to "ensure that women's voices are heard and heard loud enough for action to be taken to change their situation and give all women and girls, greater life fulfillment."

Justice Sowah tasked ASWIM to "embark on a vigorous campaign to monitor all infractions against socio-economic and political development of women and draw public attention to them until the desired outcome is attained."

She urged for stronger collaboration with other women's groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) so as to adopt gender responsive approaches to accelerate women's rights in the country.

The interim President of ASWIM and Editor of the Junior Graphic newspaper, Mrs Mavis Kitcher explained that the formation of the association in November 1981, followed an international conference for African women journalists in Accra to exchange ideas on how to promote highest standards in the profession.

She said the revival of the association which was defunct for a long while, was indicative of the fact that women in journalism were up to the task of bracing the odds and equally rub shoulders with their male counterparts.

"Ghanaian women working in the media are breaking the stereotypes that draw them back and it indicates that we will stop at nothing to improve on our skills and be versatile so that our influence will be manifested in all fields of journalism to serve the nation better than we do now, " Mrs Kitcher stated.

She urged all female journalists to come on board to make the goals of ASWIM a reality adding that, "the ASWIM agenda is an agenda for all; for women, men, old and young, educated or not, in the media or outside."

The President of GJA, Mr Affail Monney commended present leadership of ASWIM for reviving the group "as it will be a gender vehicle to compliment the functions of the GJA."

He wished the group well urging members to be wary of attitudes that may bring about division so as to achieve their set objectives.

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