Source: The Inquirer
The Female Journalist Association of Liberia (FeJAL) in collaboration with UNESCO has commenced a three-phase capacity building training for rural female journalists and senior reporters in Monrovia.

The first phase of the capacity building and training initiative is held under the theme, "Making leaders for tomorrow with ten promising female journalists participating.

The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Gender, Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman said it is important that journalists understand the rights of women and join the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

Dr. Coleman said SGBV is prevalent in Africa which is prone to different kinds of conflict but in reality SGBV is common in almost every community globally and young women are the victims. He challenged FeJAL to tackle all stakeholders in order to develop a strong legislation on SGBV.

Launching the training yesterday, Dr. Coleman said Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is another serious form of SGBV which leads to complications during child birth and other reproductive health problems women face.

"One in every five females worldwide has been abused sexually or physically at one time in their life; one in every four female has experienced violent relationships; one in every six females has been raped; yet there is still this mass silence about SGBV," he said. Dr. Coleman further encouraged FeJAL to lead the way in developing a nationwide SGBV survey in Liberia.

Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President, Peter Quaqua told the participants, mainly rural journalists from community radio stations to pay attention to the training so that they return with new ideas that would bring changes in their places of work.

Mr. Quaqua announced to the young female journalists that the PUL will be celebrating its anniversary at the end of the month with focus on shaping the future of journalism in Liberia and then applauded FeJAL for ideally targeting the small number to make maximum impact in preparing journalists who should in turn shape their profession.

"Make maximum use of your time spent here in Monrovia and learn all you can because what matters after such training is how different you will be when you return among your other colleagues in your news rooms or places of work," Mr. Quaqua added.

The lead facilitators are Madam Deddeh Kwekwe; Mr. Francis Fuka and Kamara Abdullai Kamara. Co facilitators are Ayo Scott, James Wolo, Siatta Scott Johnson; Col. Asatu Bah-Kanneh; Raymond Zarbay and INQUIRER's Philip N. Wesseh.

In her brief overview of the training earlier, FeJAL's Coordinator, Torwon S. Brown said the training is to empower female journalists and build their own self esteem as working women in media and FeJAL in partnership with UNESCO has embarked upon this process which will include computer and internet journalism, managerial training for senior reporters and editors as well as mentorship for rural female journalists.

She said the training was birthed from the low capacity in effective dispensing of modern journalistic skills and the under representation of female journalists especially at the community radio level, C. Winnie Saywah reports. 

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