By Ndey Sowe
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in partnership with Women Journalists Association of the Gambia (WoJAG) has on Tuesday, 10th March 2020 organized a day long training workshop for 20 female journalists.
The training which is being held in commemoration of International Women’s Day, brought together 20 female journalists from different media houses in The Gambia to discuss some pertinent migration issues impacting on women.
Fumiko Nagano- Chief of Mission IOM in the Gambia in an interview said: “I believe that voice should be given to migrants”, adding, “I also believe that the plight of female migrants is not reported enough in the media.”
She added despite the fact that only 3% of Gambian migrant returnees are women, but because of gender when they migrate they are more at risk of sexual exploitation, human rights violation, Gender Based Violence and other types of abuse.
She said in this case, women’s needs required to be looked at, particularly their experiences and catering for their specific needs.
She highlighted the importance of the training, “we are trying to raise awareness of female journalists on the experience of female migrants by asking the female journalists to be empowered and knowledgeable to report correctly for the society to change their attitude towards female migrants ”.
Aminata Sanneh – Secretary General WoJAG said the objective of WoJAG is to make sure that “we build the capacity of women because we found out that there is need to come together and discuss about the issues affecting women in the media”.
She added that irregular migration is an issue of concern to all because it affects us directly and she urged that it should be a concern to all and sundry.
She remarked: “it is important for us to know as journalists, how we report issues that are around irregular migration and issues that affect women”.
Veronic Njie- Reporter West Africa Democracy Radio said she will use this training as means of changing the mindset people have about female migrants.
Coming to this training she said: “I have realized that there are a lot of challenges that female migrants have and these challenges need to be addressed.”
She added that most of the time, people will say female migrants migrate because of prostitution but if we do not know their reasons for migration we cannot judge them.
“Migration itself is depressing”, she said, adding that, “as a female journalist I will use this training as a means of changing the perception people have about female migrants.”