UNESCO organized a two-day capacity building workshop for women journalists in Colombo

UNESCO New Delhi Office in partnership with the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), organized a two-day capacity building workshop for women journalists in Colombo on 26-27 February 2020.

A panel comprising of Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director, Kumar Nadesan, Chairperson of SLPI, Dr P. N. Meegaswatte, Secretary-General, Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO and Seetha Ranjani, Senior journalist-activist inaugurated the workshop entitled “Women in Media and Safety”.

20 women journalists across various media outlets based in Colombo attended the workshop that aimed at promoting the online and offline safety of the women journalists. The workshop was part of a series of activities under the project ‘Promoting the Safety of Women Journalists’ in Sri Lanka, funded by Swedish Postcode Foundation.

It was also pointed out that there is a “serious lack” of studies and data to provide a clear picture of various challenges faced by women in Sri Lankan media. “A timely intervention – the workshop understands the key challenges faced by women media practitioners in their line of duty as well as adapt a solution-based approach towards strengthening press freedom and gender representation in the newsroom, said Kumar Lopez, CEO, SLPI,

‘Media and Gender in the Asia Pacific Region’, a study published by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) with UNESCO’s support shows that within the workplace, only 45 per cent of respondents had been provided with safety training while a meager 27.5 per cent said that they were provided with safety equipment. The study also suggests that incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace are more in the Sinhala and Tamil language media, as compared to the English language media.

With the help of experienced trainers, the various activities under this project, will talk about the current media climate in the country and its impact on women in the profession, work ethics, and the legal framework for women’s employment and safety. It will also address issues of trauma and stress management, along with digital safety and security.