A one day women’s access to media in Liberia, launched by Liberia Women Media and Action Committee, Inc, supported by United Nations Democracy Fund ended yesterday at the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia, (PUL) in Monrovia with 40 participants in attendance.
The survey investigated difficulties women may have in accessing information, gender based discrimination in the mainstream media that undermines opportunities for women for their rapid development that reinforces stereotypes.
The survey was moderated by the president of the West Africa Journalists Union, Mr. Peter Quaqua and was part of the multi-level intervention project that provided baseline data on how women access information, their preferred sources of information and their preferences, according to Ms. Estella Nelson, president of Liberia Women Media Action Committee, (LIWOMAC).
The results of the survey, also launched by Ms. Maureen Sieh, Senior Media Specialist of IREX, is aimed at appropriately incorporating findings relevant to its successful implementation in its design, planning and execution of phases, according to the survey report, distributed to participants and journalists that attended the program.
Launching the survey yesterday, Ms. Sieh said she was saddened to hear about the release of yet another survey that focused on the lack of women’s voices in the media, politics, economics and other factors.
She noted, “We cannot develop as a society, if we continue to hear from one gender who make all the noise. Women are caregivers, they are the market women, they are the educators, and how can we talk about improving health care, education, the economy and not hear from them?
“When men begin to see what gender equality would mean for their daughters, the discourse will begin to change.”
Ms. Sieh regretted that when women are talked about in the media, it’s about gender-based violence or in some stereotypical way.
“I’m curious to see how the Liberian media is covering the national constitutional conference since advocates are seeking for gender equity in elected and appointed positions in the revised constitution.”
She stated that if Liberia wants to keep pace with development, it must listen to what women have to say, their challenges and their suggestions.