Canadian High Commission trained journalists on ethical gender reporting in Tamale Lansah Lolly/Abdulai Rafiq:

The Canadian High Commission in collaboration with the Center of Journalism and Ethics have organized a seminar on ethical gender reporting for some selected journalists in the Northern Region.

The seminar which was held on Monday, December 10, 2018 at University for Development Studies  (UDS) International Conference Center was primarily to teach journalists various approaches to employ when reporting on gender centered issues in the Region and Ghana as a whole.

The ethical reporting training on gender also coincided with the world’s Human Rights Day which was highly acknowledged by the Canadian Commission.

The Canadian Feminist International Assistance Policy which was launched in July 2017 was with the idea of ensuring that everything done by Canada through its international assistance would reflect positively on gender equality. The foundation of the policy was also to empower women and girls as well as transform relations between genders, because, empowering women and girls will reduce poverty, create lasting peace and achieve sustainable development.

Ghana has also shared this same ideology with Canada, and H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has been championing gender equality and recently launched the #HeforShe Campaign in Ghana. The President as well as the Minister of Gender, Hon. Cynthia Morrison have repeatedly stated that gender inequality has a potential of hindering the country’s development.

Speaking at the seminar, the Director  of Public Affairs at the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, Madam Bertha Desmennu said, the unequal treatment of women and girls is one of the primary reason that they are not able to realize their basic human rights.

According to Madam Desmennu, women and girls are not only vulnerable to gender-based violence but are also subjected to harmful practices such as child marriage which places lifelong negative on them and their families.

“Media can either reinforce the acceptance of these harmful acts or make them seem normal, or you can have a constructive influence through your reportage and have positive impact on the lives of girls, women, man and boys. And that is why Canada trusts that equipping you media practitioners with requisite tools and skills on ethical reporting, particularly on gender-based issues, will ha e a positive impact in terms of prevention and protection of victims” She said.

Madam, Desmennu added that, the High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana, Her Excellency Heather Cameron encourages the media to continue building their awareness on gender-based issues, adding that, the ideas and knowledge attained from the seminar will be used to help end harmful practices and contribute in making Ghana a safe and nurturing environment for girls, boys, women and men.

A renowned Ghanaian journalist and columnist of Ottawa Citizen Newspaper Mr. Mohammed M. Adam who was the trainer of the workshop urge journalists to highlight and put the spotlight on women especially issues that affect the well-being and development of the woman.

He noted that, journalists have the responsibility to protect the rights of the women at all times.

Mr. Adam who was also the editor of the pioneer newspaper and press secretary to the late President Hilal Limann took journalists through news writing, reporting and ethics.

Pro Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Seidu Al-Hassan who was the chairperson for the seminar urge media practitioners to sharping their skills in writing and research, adding that, attending communication workshops will enable journalists to build their capacities and abreast with issues.

Prof. Seidu Alhassan

He said, reporting on gender issues is very sensitive, “sometimes you need to go down and through professionalism to come out with the best story”.

Prof. Seidu advised media practitioners to avoid sensationalism but focused on developmental issues.

Over 30 participants from various media houses received certificates of recognition after the program.

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