Wednesday, March 22

IWD 2023: WoJAG raises concern over gender inequality in Gambian Media 

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While the theme is putting spotlight on women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education, WoJAG believes it’s important to highlight the gender inequalities that exist in the Gambian media. The media in The Gambia is operating in a patriarchal society with unequal power relations between men and women which put women at the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder and render them vulnerable to different forms of rights violation. 

While women journalist play pivotal roles in the development of the Gambian media, working as reporters, presenters, editors, producers, technicians, managers and media proprietors, they continue to face challenges such as; gender inequality, sexual harassment and low pay amongst others in media houses across the country.  

A study on the Working Conditions of Media Workers in The Gambia conducted by the Gambia Press Union in 2020, shows that 37% of media workers are female. While this shows that the media is largely dominated by men, the report also shows that significant gaps exist when conditions for both men and women are compared at all levels, especially in terms of pay, positions held, and treatment.  

It’s important to note that many women journalists have acquired the necessary knowledge and skills over the past years which show that there isn’t a lack of knowledge and skills among women journalists. Yet, editorial boards and decision-making positions in newsrooms continue to be mainly dominated by men.  

𝐖𝐨𝐉𝐀𝐆 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐚 said “mitigating sexual harassment is one the major issues the women journalist association of The Gambia is working on addressing. I call on women journalist to be assertive but also to work on improving themselves both professionally and academically so as to avoid men taking advantage of their vulnerability.”

Banna Sabally, the secretary general of WoJAG, said for gender inequality to be mitigated in the media, women should also be ready to push extra hard to get promotions like their male counterparts. 

“It’s visible that many women are joining the journalism field but the fact remains the higher you go, the fewer women you find in media houses and this is because of the gender discrimination that exists in the media. “It’s like women have to prove themselves over and over again to be accepted or seen capable and this is not the case with men, that’s sad” she said.