Somali Women Journalist Rights Association (SOWJRA) has released a statement on the suffering of Somalia women journalist during a high profile event held on 24th December 2017 at SYL Hotel, Mogadishu, Somalia. The event brought together Members of Parliament, the Minister of Information and Tourism of the Federal Government of Somalia, Information Ministers of Federal Member States, and Leaders of an Independent Media organization, Journalists, Lawyers and Civil Society Members attended the event. During the event, the chairperson of SOWJRA talked about organizations efforts to prevent violations against women journalist and advocate for their rights. She also presented the findings of recent survey on the challenges women journalists encounter on and off their jobs in the media environment.
The events main purpose was to highlight major challenges of female journalist in the media sector and to bring solutions to their work related problems. Mohamed Omar Dalxa, a key member of the Somali Parliament spoke about the role and importance of women journalist and the key role they played. He also requested the federal government to support and bring a lasting solutions to the major challenges that women journalist face as part of their career in the media.
Women’s journalists held a joint press conference organized by the Women’s Lawyers Association (SOWJRA) on the nature of the torture and the challenges they faced during their work, the following action points were taken into account:
1. To keep an eye on women’s conditions when seeking jobs because they meet a lot of challenges, the need to find a job, with a vast majority of women who are professionally free and willing to join the media.
2. To stop gender based discrimination on the job and other sexual exploitation of young girls; women journalists in the media are sometimes banned from performing certain work, and only assigned in entertainment programs. 3. To improve equal job/training opportunities in the media environment for boys and girls and increase professional development of the female journalist in Somalia.
4. To promote women journalist participation in decision making. The Somali media environment does not make any job promotion for female journalist.
5. To enhance networks and partnership, this is done through co-ordinate consultative forums/meetings amongst and between women journalist in the country. Actually, this will help them have one voice and jointly fight for their rights
The Somali Women Journalist Rights Association (SOWJRA) welcomes and commends the Somali Ministry of Information; Eng. Abdirahman Osman Yarisow, who participated in this debate, said that the complaints of women journalists are an issue that needs to be addressed. SOWJRA also welcomes the call for the Minister of Information during a meeting of media reporters to stop violations against female journalist in Somalia.
Finally, the Somali Women Journalist Rights Association (SOWJRA) welcomes anyone involved in preventing violence against women journalists and supporting the empowerment of the female journalist in Somalia.
Leila Ad’ed Osman
Somali Women Journalist Rights Association (SOWJRA)