The Gambia Press Union after the review and validation of its sexual harassment research findings and policy held a 4 days training on gender and sexual harassment for editors, producers, senior managers, reporters and presenters to sensitize them on gender, sexual harassment and discrimination.
The training is part of a 3-year project with Civil Society in Development Denmark (CISU) and its implementing partners Gambia Media Support (GAMES).
At the opening ceremony the Union’s programme manager Lamin Jahateh said sexual harassment is prevalent in the media and more than 86 percent of the perpetrators are men.
“Because of our culture’s tolerance of sexual harassment when it happens most don’t recognise it as what it is and see it as normal.” He stated
He highlighted that because of the lack of policies in media houses it’s difficult for the victims to know what to do and how to report it.
He added “from our culture to our work environment sexual harassment issues will always come out so this training will help you understand when sexual harassment happens what you should do, the steps to take to report it either to your superiors or GPU.”
Jahateh said he hopes victims will start coming forward to lodge complaints with the union.
Lawa Drammeh representing the permanent secretary, ministry of women, children and social welfare said there is need to accord legal protection to women in the media.
“All forms of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse are completely unacceptable,” she stated adding that such behaviours had no place in society.
Drammeh also urged media workers to report cases for swift, appropriate and effective action by appropriate authorities.
The research is the first to be conducted in the media as well as the policy