Enhancing personal security skills of women journalists in Terai
Women journalists working in the Terai region of Nepal are still too often victims of threat and violence. This is why UNESCO's Kathmandu Office, with the support of the UN Peace Fund for Nepal, continues its efforts to train women media professionals in personal security skills. A training course on conflict-sensitive reporting was conducted from 18 to 20 March 2010.
Entitled "Conflict-Sensitive Journalism, Gender-Sensitive Journalism and Gender-Based Violence", the training course was conducted by Tanka Raj Aryal from Article 19, and Nirmala Sharma from Sancharika Samua, an association of women journalists. Women media professionals from very diverse cultural backgrounds from the districts of Dhanusha, Saptari, Siraha, Mahottari, Rauthat, Bara, Parsha, Jhapa and Sarlahi attended the course.
Most of the 25 participants of the training recognised having been victims of threat or harassment because of stories they have written or interviews they have done. The attacks ranged from intimidation to physical violence, and a very high number of threats stayed unreported. According to women journalists, there is growing pressure from their families to get out of the profession because of such dangers.
One of the main reasons of this training was to help female journalists protect themselves while exercising their profession. Other issues covered by the training included basic journalism skills, human rights fundamentals, conflict- and gender-sensitive reporting and gender-based violence.
The training was a follow-up to an innovative programme that UNESCO's Kathmandu Office and the Nepal Press Institute put together last year with the support of the UN Peace Fund for Nepal.