Yussif Ibrahim, GNA
Kumasi, Oct 31, GNA
– The media has been asked to do more to create space for women to contribute
to the nation’s peace building effort as the December 07 polls draws near.
Ms. Barbara Sangare, International Coordinator of Women’s Situation Room (WSR) - a women’s peace building mechanism to prevent election-related conflicts in Africa, said they had significant role to play to keep the nation calm.
It was important to tap their expertise to safeguard the peace before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections.
She was speaking at a day’s training workshop on responsible reporting held in Kumasi for journalists drawn from five regions – Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West.
It was organized by the WSR with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canadian Government.
The programme sought to encourage the journalists to report on the election with a “gender lens” - provide platform for eminent women to share their experience and expertise on electoral matters.
Ms. Sangare said the WSR, first implemented in Liberia in its 2011 election and replicated in other African countries such as Sierra-Leone, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, allowed for women to actively participate in the electoral process without necessarily having to be politically affiliated.
She indicated that women were among the vulnerable, who would suffer the most in the event of a political conflict and therefore the need to empower them to lead from the front the crusade for peaceful conduct of the election.
Mr. Frank Wilson, a gender activist with the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), entreated the media to provide level playing field for both men and women contesting in the election to reach out to the voters.
That, he said, was vital to encourage women to contest for elective positions, to influence policy.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, a communication expert, reminded journalists to avoid doing anything unethical, likely to fuel political tension and confusion.