Can Media Champion Gender Issues?

Gender sensitization workshop being held in Paro from 27 to 28 September for journalists and media personnel (Pic: JAB)

SHERAB DORJI and KARMA CHIMI
Paro

A two-day work shop on gender sensitization was held at Paro from 27 to 28 for journalists and media personnel with the aim at increasing gender sensitive reporting.

The workshop was conducted in collaboration with Journalists’ Association of Bhutan and Bhutan Network for Empowering Women supported by HELVETAS Bhutan.

The workshop focused on gender power and hierarchy, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, gender gaps, gender and development, gender and its concept and media advocacy for gender violence.

During the seminar, many participants raised the concern about sexual harassment and the gender discrimination where woman should come forward equally as the man.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, Bhutan is ranked 131 out of 153 countries (previously ranked 122 in 2018).

The report states that women in Bhutan scored highly in key areas such as educational attainment, however there were few women in political positions which made Bhutan ranked low in political empowerment.

Ayeshwini Lama, the trainer who is a specialist on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender said, “The media plays a huge role in our country, where people are becoming increasingly interested in learning and staying informed about the gender sensitization.”

She further added that gender insensitive reporting is not unknown to us, honestly it happens more than it should. This is not due to personal motives but because of the lack of proper understanding of the matter.

With the work shop, the organizer hopes the journalist to acquire new skills and concepts to develop a critical sensitivity from a gender perspective, comprehension of power in human relations, comprehension of gender into practical transformation and address woman experiences and knowledge to ensure sustainable development.

One of the participant said, “I got to interact and learn a lot about gender issues which also helped to reflect our personal attitudes, beliefs, norms on realities grouch we thought we know but was the totally opposite.”

The trainer said, “Hopefully workshops like these for journalists would equip our media organizations to take the gender prospective not only to report news but also to go extra mile and advocate gender issues.”

She further added, one of the major gaps identified during the workshop was the lack of gender advocacy in media organizations.

Meanwhile, the trainer is looking forward to give more similar workshops and hopes the media organization to provide mandatory annual gender advocacy trainings to all the staff.