BY WASWA TENYWA
FEMALE journalists from the various regions across Uganda are advocating for better occupational safety policies and human rights while on job.
During a virtual workshop hosted by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Uganda in partnership with Journalism and Media International Center(JMIC) on Saturday, Eunice Kasirye the IAWRT Uganda chapter head, noted that safety and human rights are a pre-requisite at a workplace for mostly female journalists.
“The platform of virtual networking has it’s fears. The same fears we get online are the same we face offline. If you frustrate the voice of a female journalist, you’re frustrating the voice of all the voiceless in the community. However, when a female journalist is given all the space and the power to do her job without being censored, the community benefits,” Noted Ms. Eunice Kasirye.
Violet Gonda the IAWRT president noted that the Association has been able to receive international support to start a pilot project on creating a digital safe house for female journalists adding that they female journalists suffer a lot everywhere.
Meanwhile Rouenah Kajumba, a TV journalist in central region noted that issues concerning female journalists’ safety started with what society perceives as what a woman is and what a female journalist is.
She said that in a very patriarchical society where men have always taken lead, some female journalists fear to air their views because they will be termed as emotional and most threats are much more directed towards women than men while on duty.
She noted that men should be involved in discussions around the safety of female journalists.
“We are not only females in the field, but there are men as well. So if these male journalists don’t understand the female journalists, there’s no way we are going to uphold the issue of safety. When we leave our workplaces, the married go back to men.” She said, adding, “We have brothers and we work with men in different sections. So these people ought to understand what it means to be a woman because men are the very people that are exposing us to the things that make us unsafe while in the field.”
Caroline Bunga urged the journalists to task the public servants to provide information since the information act mandates any public officer to provide information except where the release is likely to prejudice the security or sovereignty of the state or interfere with the right to the privacy of any other person.
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