By: Oretha Bundoo

CAPITOL HILL-MONROVIA: Scores of Liberian women Journalists from across the country have gathered in the Capital City, Monrovia for it’s 7th annual retreat to discuss the progress of the Association.

The convergence of members of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) is part of a three (3) days exercise which is being held under the theme: “Uniting Media Women To Face Challenges Ahead”.

The Annual retreat is geared towards reviewing the current constitution, Progress Reports from the leadership, discussion on issues confronting women journalists in the workplaces, and validation of a three (3) year strategy plan.

Serving as guest speaker at the opening ceremony, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Madam Paulita C. C. Wie named low self-esteem, discrimination, and violence as some of the issues women journalists continue to deal with.

Madam Wie stressed that though the media is a powerful tool for information dissemination, women Journalists must lead the way.
“The male feel women voices should not be heard, their rights should not be protected, they should be second or third and women should say no to that because what men can do women can also do better”.

She emphasized that there will often be balances in terms of women participation in politics, women need to let go of their crib mentalities, which is if you are not from party X you cannot support them or even cover their story; there are many at times you see that women cannot afford because of the financial constraints women go through and at times it is good that the female journalists give their own support regardless the candidates don’t have money.

In remarks, the Head of INTERNEWS In Liberia madam Lien Bach lauded women Journalists for their efforts and pledged unwavering support to Fejal in order to advocate, promote and protect the rights of female journalists across the country.

“INTERNEWS remains committed to supporting the Female Journalists Association in achieving its goal of providing a safe space for female journalists”, Madam Bach noted

For his part, Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) Representative Charles Crawford noted that ALJA is aware of the numerous challenges faced by the women Journalists and as such ALJA is organizing a one-day training for over fifty Journalists from the rural area in terms of capacity building on December 22, 2021.

Crawford encouraged Female Journalists to be focused on expressing those issues that affect them and how they can be tackled in a positive manner.

Meanwhile, President of the Press Union of Liberia PUL, Mr. Charles Coffes Jr. said there are lots of things affecting female journalists globally such as the lack of access to inadequate education, Unemployment opportunities, Female genital mutilation, Gender base Violence, water and sanitation, child marriage and inequality at their job sites.

Mr. Coffey Jr. stressed that with all of those challenges, there is a need for female journalists to unite and come up with strategies in order to address some of the issues faced by them.
Meanwhile the President of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia madam Siatta Scott Johnson encouraged female journalists at the retreat to see the organization as their own not only the leadership.

She asked all participants to bring on board those ideas that will make an impact in the organization now and in time to come.

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