Training for women journalists starts today in Janakpur, Nepal
25 women journalists from the Terai region of Nepal will be trained on personal security, human rights, basic journalism skills, and conflict and gender-sensitive journalism. UNESCO and the Nepal Press Institute, which organized this training, hope that it will help women journalists protect themselves and will reduce the amount of violence against them.
UNESCO and the Nepal Press Institute, in a joint collaboration with Sancharika Samua, OHCHR, INHURED International and Article 19, open today in Janakpur the first phase of the four-month training, adressed exclusively to women journalists. It will focus on:
- personal security (14-19 August),
- human rights fundamentals (20 August),
- basic journalism skills (21-25 August) and
- conflict and gender-sensitive journalism (October).
Selected journalists are from very diverse cultural backgrounds and come from several districts within the Terai region: Dhanusha, Saptari, Siraha, Mahottari, Rauthat, Bara, Parsha and Sarlahi.
Female journalists working in some areas of the Terai region often face danger because of their profession. There have been many incidents with female journalists receiving threats because of stories they have written or interviews they have done. The attacks have ranged from intimidation to physical violence and, last January, one of these attacks resulted in a murder. An increasing number of women journalists say there is growing pressure from their families to get out of the profession because of such danger. There is evidence that the number of attacks is increasing and the violence is occurring in more areas of Nepal.
Concerned about the current situation with female media professionals in the Terai region, UNESCO's Office in Kathmandu and the Nepal Press Institute put together a very innovative training programme divided in two phases, one basic and one advanced, each made up of theoretical and practical modules. Both organizations hope that such training will help women journalists protect themselves and will reduce the amount of violence against them.
The personal security training, which opens the whole programme, will be immediately followed by human right fundamentals and basic journalism skills trainings. These will make the first phase of the programme, after which an important practical module will follow. The participants will spend three weeks in their communities, accompanied by the trainers who will help them apply the skills gained during the first phase of the programme.
The second phase will focus on conflict and gender-sensitive journalism and will also be followed by a three-week practical module, during which the trainees will carry out assignments on the basis of their newly acquired skills, supervised by their trainers.
At the end of the four-month course, the newly formed group of women journalists will be offered internships and/or fellowships within different media houses in the country.