By Mariama Marong
Women Journalist Association of The Gambia ( WoJAG), on Tuesday 13th December, 2022, has rebranded and adopted a new Constitution for the association .
The event which was organised with support from Freedom House, was held at a local Hotel in Kololi on the theme: “Shattering The Glass Ceiling in The Gambian Media.” The event brought together different stakeholders in the media fraternity, with the Minister to Youth and Sport Bakary Badjie as brand launcher.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bakary Badjie said his ministry is committed to work with the association and said women should take centre stage as professional media personnel and change the dynamics of men domination in the trade. He said women journalists have a responsibility to make change and revitalise the association.
Mr. Badjie assured that government will open space to ensure that there is press freedom in the country where journalists will be free from intimidation.
Muhammad M.S. Bah, the president of The Gambia Press Union said the GPU was honoured to be associated with women journalists who play key roles, when it comes to the media work. He
further said that it is important to strengthen the capacity of women, building press freedom and promoting women rights in the media. He made mention of the sexual harassment, exploitation and discrimination that women encounter at work their places, and said this should be addressed by the women themselves.
He described women as ambassadors and urged them to take up leadership roles in their various media houses.
Demba Kanteh, a representative of Freedom House who also happened to be the main funders of the event, said they want to strengthen the media, civil society organisations and the justice system of the Gambia, by promoting rights and justice in the country.
According to him, the mission of Freedom House is to enhance the work of civil society organisations, the media and the justice system through capacity building empowerment programs.
For her part, Mrs. Amie Joof Cole, a journalist and activist said the association is filled with young and potential women, who are currently leaders and not future leaders. She however said women journalists need capacity building to enhance their skills to enable them make right decisions during the course of their work.
Mrs. Joof Cole said media institutions need to create space for women to explore their talent and media houses need to create opportunities for their staff.
Annette Camara, president of WoJAG said women journalists have a greater role to play in the development of the nation. She said about 60 percent of women have undergone gender based violence in media houses and that as an association they will advocate for the rights of women in the media. She acknowledged and thanked the funders for their support and commended the GPU and female journalists for their trust in the association.
By Mariama Marong