Canadian Mission Assists Journalists

SOME SELECTED Journalists in Kumasi, the capital of Ashanti Region, have benefitted from a one-day intensive educative seminar, which was geared towards making them more efficient, especially when reporting on gender-based issues.

Dubbed ‘Seminar on Ethical Gender Reporting’, the programme was, among other things, geared towards giving the needed training to the journalists so that they would always uphold their ethics, whilst reporting on gender cases.

The seminar, which was well attended by journalists in the city, saw Canadian-based Ghanaian journalist, Mr. Mohammed Adam, schooling the attendants on ethical gender reporting and other key topics.

The Canadian High Commission in Ghana organized the programme at the Royal Lamerta Hotel in Kumasi on Wednesday.

Mr. Mohammed Adam shared his expertise in journalism with his colleagues.

In a speech read on behalf of the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency, Heather Cameron, by Susana Serwaa Ofosu, she observed that “boys and girls are not given equal treatment in most Ghanaian communities”.

She added with concern that “around the world, including Canada and Ghana, women and girls are not only more vulnerable to gender-based violence such as physical and sexual abuse, emotional and economical extortion, they are also more subject to harmful practices, including early forced marriages and female genital mutilation. These acts place lifelong negative effects on women, girls and their families”. She called for a stop to these malpractices.

The Canadian High Commissioner stated that the media is an important instrument, as they can use their powerful mediums in helping to stop the discrimination and injustices that women and girls usually suffer in societies.

“And that is why Canada trusts that equipping you – media practitioners – with the requisite tools and skills on ethical reporting, particularly on gender-based issues, will have a positive impact in terms of prevention and protecting victims”.

Her Excellency Heather Cameron announced that every year, between November 25 and December 10, Canada joins the United Nations campaign dubbed ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’.

The worldwide campaign is to help raise awareness and make a joint effort to emphasize that violence against women and girls is a serious human rights violation, which should be ended in public and private places, she said.

Mr. Mohammed Adam, a seasoned journalist, admonished journalists to always apply fairness, accuracy and integrity in their reportage, adding that journalists should not write their stories to deepen the pains of victims in society.

“Avoid using demeaning words to describe victims of sexual abuse and other abuses in society”, he advised, adding that women and girls should also be given prominence in a positive way in the media as is done to men and boys.

The world, Mr. Adam stressed, would experience massive transformation for the people to enjoy when both sexes are treated equally in societies, urging the media to be crusaders for the promotion of gender balance in the world.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr & Ernest Kofi Adu, K’si