By Landing Ceesay
The National Coordinator of the Network Against Gender-Based Violence said his organisation wants to use media personnel to end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in The Gambia.
“We want to use media personnel as agents to end SGBV because they are the ears and eyes of the people. So, if we work with them, we have a real opportunity to reach a wider audience. We also have a greater advantage of ensuring that our advocacy is amplified and people who should take necessary actions can take the necessary action. We know that there are several cases of SGBV in the Gambia that are going on and we also know that most of the time the cases take so long before a decision is made.
“So we feel that the journalists or media personnel can also be agents that will help us to change that narrative. They can ensure that they follow up SGBV cases and push up the authorities so that the courts and justice system, the police and other actors in the field can take action on time so that cases are dealt with accordingly on time because justice delayed is justice denied,” National Coordinator Fallu Sowe said.
He added that the media is very critical to their advocacy; saying journalists can be agents to end the narrative of justice delay for the victims or survivors by disseminating the information to the wider audience. Fallu further said the media could help them in their advocacy to ensure that the government and other actors take responsibility to address the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.
The training brought together many journalists from the print, broadcast and online media of the country who acknowledged that the skills they learnt would uplift their reporting on the subject.
Ya Sohna Sonko, a participant from Paradise TV, believes the training would help her report more on SGBV issues now that she knows the dos and don’ts of SGBV reporting.
“I think it is very important that the Network Against Gender Based Violence organized this training for journalists; seeing that there has been a worrying increase in the cases of gender-based violence in The Gambia. As a media person, I think this will help me improve my reporting skill when it comes to GBV matters and to also report the issues ethically,” she said.
Ousman Saidykhan Gainako online medium said the training was very crucial and it has encouraged him to report on SGBV issues, saying ‘it’s evil and we have to fight every form of it’.
“The journalists can play a very important role in getting rid of issues related to SGBV because a lot of people look up to them. However, we can’t effectively report issues of such without the requisite knowledge, but now, I’m happily telling you that I have learnt a lot about SGBV reporting and in fact, the training has encouraged me to report on SGBV issues, it’s evil and we have to fight every form of it,” Saidykhan stated.
Ousman Saidykhan added that journalists are expected to expose all forms of SGBV by reporting it on their various platforms.
Sowe, Saidykhan and Sonko made these remarks while speaking to Kerr Fatou shortly after the conclusion of the three days training for the Media on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and sensitive reporting. It was organised by the Network Against Gender-Based Violence [NGBV]. During the session, participants were taught the dos and don’ts of reporting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence [SGBV].