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Don’t Use Reportage to Stereotype Women and Victims

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The media has been tasked to use their reportage to promote transformation and gender equality in the country, Revered Dr. Comfort Asare, Director of Gender, Ministry of Gender and Social protection has said.

Rev. Dr. Asare further urged the media to desist from using their reportage to stereotype women and cautioning against blaming victims of various abuses for their woes.

Speaking at a day’s seminar that seek to ascertain how the media covered women issues, especially cases of sexual assault and rape in the country, Rev. Dr Asare was not happy with distorted and sensational stories by the media on gender- based stories.

The seminar was organised by Centre of Journalism and Ethics in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada and Knustford University College in Accra.

According to Rev. Dr Asare, there had been several training programmes held for the media on the need to promote gender equality and violence against women, yet some media houses continue to distort and provide inaccurate information over those issues.

She said one of the goals of promoting sustainable development was to ensure that the media was given space and their report was used to enhance gender equality.

“An accurate report devoid of sensationalism is what we are looking for,” she remarked.

The Director for Gender indicated that the role of the media in ending negative social cultural practices in the ministry’s social protection programme could not be overemphasised and therefore urged media personnel to be on top of the game, be gender sensitive, avert distortion and live above financial influence.

“Do not distort, thwart information under the influence of money,” she cautioned.

The Director for Gender was happy that over 1,600 men had committed themselves to  the launch of “he for she” campaign, to stand up for women in the country and the Ministry was expecting two million men to remain committed to women issues.

Heather Cameron, Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana noted that promoting gender equality was an effective way of eliminating poverty and promoting peace and admonished the media to use their reports to reinforce change and portray challenges of Gender based issues..

Professor Anthony Ahiawodzi, President of Knustford University College, recounted that the college over the years had trained over 238 journalists across the country and noted that Ethical Gender Reporting was key in promoting gender equality.

He announced that the college would next year roll out a Strategic Communication programme.

Source: GNA

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