Journalists in Cox’s Bazar trained to write more sensitive stories about woman
Thirty Bangladeshi journalists have learned how to write about women in more gender-sensitive and empowering ways. The 22–24 June training encouraged “Gender-Responsive Journalism,” in which journalists writing stories about crimes against women, for example, might protect the woman’s privacy and focus on solutions instead of just presenting her as a “victim”.
The training’s main objectives were to increase women’s participation in local media, eliminate misrepresentation of women, increase the use of gender-sensitive words in reports on violence against women and give local journalists a fair idea about reliable sources of information. Trainers exchanged views with journalists on the need for a socially cohesive and gender-responsive journalism practice.
The last day was focused on changing attitudes towards women in society. The extent to which women can play a vital role in various walks of life was discussed. Journalists were urged to focus on women’s empowerment without defining women in the traditional way of thinking.
“When journalists victimize a woman in the breaking news, not only the woman but also the whole nation is insulted,” said Deepak Sharma Dipu, one of the journalistsin the training.
Said Ahsan Suman, who works for SA TV, “Our most important lesson to take back with us is how we, as journalists, can help to contribute to peace and equality within our communities.”
In her welcome address, Flora Macula, Head of the UN Women Cox’s Bazar Sub-Office, said, “We are working to change the way we think, the way news is presented and the way women are portrayed in the media. The media can play a vital role in establishing gender equality in society.” She called upon the media to work to highlight women’s contributionsto various fields of society.
In his special guest’s speech, Abu Taher Chowdhury, President of Cox’s Bazar Press Club, thanked UN Women for organizing the training. He hopes that this training programme will help journalists carry out their work in a more gender-sensitive way. He urged journalists to act in accordance with the National Media Act.