Accra: New Study Gives Evidence Of Sexual Harassment Female Journalists Face At Work

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There are a lot of anecdotal stories about the experiences of women in Ghana media and how they are being harassed sexually.

This is contained in new research undertaken by the Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA) which was launched last Thursday at the Centre for African Wetlands Auditorium of the University of Ghana.

The report is a product of collaborative research between AWMA and SICS, with funding from the US Embassy Small Grants Programme.

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Over 300 female media professionals were interviewed across all 16 regions of Ghana.

The report dubbed ‘Status of Women in the Ghanaian Media has exposed some sexual harassment women in Ghanaian media encounter on the job.

According to the findings, some of the women claimed that they had one way or the other encountered inappropriate body contacts where they were touched by their male counterparts at work in a lustful manner.

Others also said they had men passing seductive comments about their appearances, dresses among others at the workplace.

This information was revealed during the launch of the maiden Status of Women in the Ghanaian Media which was on the theme: “Providing Evidence for Gender Equality and Advocacy Report.”

The publication is intended to serve as a resource for engaging different key stakeholders such as media owners, editors and managers, practitioners, and regulators. It also aims at advocating for better working conditions, smoother career progression and a safer working environment for women in the media industry.

The report forms part of AWMA’s advocacy programme; Women in Media Rising. Its objective is to provide baseline evidence for gender equality and advocacy in the news media.

“This report is a product of meaningful partnerships and collaboration. It provides much-needed evidence to aid our advocacy work. Women in media experience a lot of drawbacks- we know it, we feel it, and we talk about it. Without science, our sentiments alone won’t give the change we want to see. Let us use these findings to ACT for equity because action changes things”, stated Shamima Muslim, Convenor of AWMA.

“Without the evidence to back claims of gendered practices in the Ghanaian media, they remain anecdotal, and our efforts at correcting them can, at best, only be minimal in their impact. With a report like this, now it is possible to have real conversations on how to improve the lives of women working in the media. A more gender-equal media is good for Ghana, and this report draws us closer to it.” added Dr Abena A. Yeboah-Banin, a Senior Lecturer at the SICS, University of Ghana.

Other speakers who addressed the launch virtually included Minister for Information, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Ambassador of the United States to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie S. Sullivan.

There was also solidarity messages from representatives of the Ghana Journalists Association, the Media Foundation for West Africa, and the National Media Commission.

Throwing more light on the findings, Dr. Abena A. Yeboah-Baning of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana also identified some gaps in gender equality in the Ghana media industry.

About Alliance for Women in Media Africa

Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA) is a network of over 180 women across the media industry that have come together to work towards increasing the visibility and impact of women in media. AWMA envisions a media industry where women are trained, visible and in positions of influence and power. It seeks to contribute to an inclusive global discourse where the voices, stories, experiences and images of African women and girls are correctly, sufficiently and equally represented.

School of Information and Communication Studies (SICS), University of Ghana

The School of Information and Communication Studies (SICS) aims at improving and extending the frontiers of Information and Communication dissemination and management through effective teaching, learning, and research. The School focuses on developing world-class students who are skilled, versatile, creative, and ready to take up positions in the local and global information and communication industries. It also aims at producing innovative research to reflect the evolutions in the creation, dissemination, and exploitation of knowledge and the impact of new forms of media and communication on people’s lives.

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