Mogadishu (Raxanreeb) Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) concluded a three-day training for Somali women journalists benefitting 20 female journalists and producers in Mogadishu on Friday.
The training initiative is part of a six-months program supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany which is aimed at building women journalists’ capacity to take up leadership positions in the media and to advocate for gender equality.
On the conclusion of the training, SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin and local media directors joined a panel discussion highlighting the role of women in the media in a bid to advocate for gender equality in the Somali media leadership.
“Due to cultural and security challenges, Somali women journalists are under-trained and under-represented. They do not receive proper trainings and are often overlooked for promotion. That is why our training program does not only advocate for promotion of women journalists for leadership positions, but also intends to build their capacity by teaching skills necessary for their profession. Thanks for the generous support provided by German Embassy,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, SJS Secretary-General said.
On behalf of the training participants, Zamzam Mohamed Ali, the deputy director of Arlaadi Media Network stated that it was necessary for the entire society to acknowledge the role of the women as a foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and stable Somalia. She said empowering women journalists is the first step on the path to gender equality nationwide.
“When we are less skilled than our male counterparts, we can not attain positions in the decision-making table. During the three-day training we learnt a lot and we got more confidence that we can go back to our media houses feeling more empowered with new skills. We thank SJS and the German Embassy for providing us this unique opportunity,” the 24-year-old woman said.
Director of the state-owned Radio Mogadishu, Mohamed Kafi Abukar noted that despite women represent 50 percent of the population, there is still a long way to achieve gender equality in the local media.
“Today, I had the opportunity to participate in the panel discussion as a wrap up for your training. I understand that there are many issues affecting our women. One of them is the lack of skills. There are also societal challenges which need more awareness,” Mr. Abukar said. “The SJS training seems to have addressed the key challenge which is to build the capacity of the female journalists. As a director of state media, I am pleased to be part of of the SJS advocacy initiative and we are ready to work with the women so that they can get their rights in the media leadership.”
The Deputy Ambassador of the Germany Embassy in Somalia, Mr. Sascha Andreas, who joined during one of the training sessions said “An open and inclusive society needs strong and powerful women, who raise their voices. Together with our partner SJS, Germany supports the empowerment of female journalists in Somalia through capacity building. By empowering female journalists, we can contribute to making women’s voices heard loud and clear. We want to read stories from a female perspective and improve women’s participation in society and politics.”
SJS, with the funding of the Germany Embassy, aims to reach 100 women journalists across four regions in Somalia with the objective of equipping them with the tools they need to rise in their current workplaces or elsewhere in the industry. The project would also provide women journalists with mentoring between and after training events to provide them with entrepreneurship skills, production of quality content to add value to their careers, as well as support and self-advocacy skills for greater gender equality in the media.