Friday, October 7, 2011

WOJAG Prexy on Women’s Rights

“Today marks another milestone in the history of journalism in the Gambia because the female journalists in the country have decided to take charge of their rightful position in promoting gender issues.
 Let me begin by saying a big thank you to the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies for making this capacity building training possible. The WOJAG identifies your institution as a true collaborator, and we believe that you have advancement of women on this continent at heart.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, gender and gender related issues should be given high priority in our news media; we must make sure that all stereotyped cases are addressed clearly. We must promote/advocate equality in the eyes of the law and in our own social structure.
Promoting gender issues should be every body’s business, especially those who know what is right. Gender is not about fighting against each other; it is about fostering mutual understanding between partners.
It is our responsibility as gender activists to make sure that governments across the world are truly seen to promote and protect both practical and strategic gender needs.
Gender issues cannot be promoted without touching on the rights of women and these rights are crosscutting issues that require the attention of a wide range of stakeholders, including not only the women themselves but government, women’s rights organizations and human rights NGOs.
How much networking is there between the media and civil society organizations that deal with human rights? How much examination is done by the media of government policies and actions, the adequacies or implementations (or lack it) of legal provisions, the exposure of violations of women’s rights?
We women journalists have a big challenge; we should be in the forefront in educating, informing and advocating this rights/ issues affecting women in society.
It is common knowledge that women work longer hours than men. This is because of our gender triple roles which include community, productive and reproductive roles in our society. And still we receive no pay for our domestic chores.
As women we need to stretch our muscles and do more to defend ourselves  for  people to know that we are aware of the happening in our societies: women are being raped, forced to accept sex for a little paid job, and other discriminatory attitudes against us all in the name of she is a only a woman.
Women and Gender Inequities
In both developed and developing countries, women face gender-based inequities that often impede their ability to earn a living and better their lives and those of their families.

•    Women worldwide typically earn less than men for the same work, and their jobs are concentrated in lower paying industries and the informal sector. In addition family labor is usually unpaid.

•    Women tend to work longer hours under the double burden of domestic and remunerative labor.

•    Women constitute the majority of the world’s agricultural laborers, but receive only a small fraction of the available extension and support services.

•    Women have less access to and control over resources, benefits and opportunities, including land, assets, credits, training and household income.

•    Female-headed households are overrepresented among the poor and food insecure, and women and their children are the majority of refugees and displaced populations.
•    Women are further disadvantaged economically and socially because we often receive approximately half the years of schooling of men, and have less access to health care services and fewer legal rights.

Once again I must register my sincere gratitude to ACDHRS and GPU for building our capacities as women journalists.

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