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The European Union and International IDEA partner up with the Gambia Press Union to jointly combat sexual harassment in the media

May 23, 2024 • By Musa Saho
The EU Delegation, Staff of International IDEA, GPU leadership and media managers and editors
A Gambia Press Union’s Report on Sexual Harassment in the media of 2020 revealed distressing findings: one out of four media workers heard about alleged incidents of sexual harassment in their workplaces and one person out of 10 reported having been personally sexually harassed.

In view of those facts, and in order to actively promote a media landscape free of sexual harassment and gender discrimination – since women are still highly underrepresented in leadership positions, from the 13th to 17th May 2024, the European Union and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), together with the Gambia Press Union (GPU) have conducted five days of training for media managers and editors.

The various sessions allowed for the equipping of participants with essential knowledge and tools to prevent sexual harassment, promote gender equality, and foster an inclusive and safer working environment for women journalists.

Mr. Raphaël Brigandi, the Deputy Head of the European Delegation, said: “Sexual harassment is sadly too prevalent in the workplace across countries and business sectors. Putting an end to such unacceptable behaviours must be a concern for everyone regardless of their gender.” He added: “The prevalence of sexual harassment and gender imbalance in the media not only undermines the core values of democratic societies but also hinders professional growth and personal well-being. In this context, I also wish to commend the GPU for putting relevant policies in place which we are happy to support”.

Jainaba Faye, International IDEA's Head of Country Office, in her remark, challenged media managers and editors to intensify efforts in creating a media environment that fosters a culture of respect and inclusivity, challenging harmful stereotypes, confronting power imbalances, and promoting diversity at all levels. She urged the adoption and full implementation of the Gambia Press Union's Sexual Harassment Policy, emphasizing journalists' unique role in combating harassment and discrimination.

Muhammed S. Bah President of Gambia Press Union expressed gratitude to International IDEA, and the European Union for making this training a success while signifying their commitment to upholding the highest standards to promote further a media landscape that is inclusive and free from all forms of sexual harassment.

One of the participants, Mr. Lamin Cham, Editor of Standard Newspaper, expressed satisfaction with how the training was conducted and further stated that the training has equipped him with knowledge and expertise to prevent sexual harassment and gender discrimination at his media house. Mr. Cham added that the tangible outcomes of the sessions provided them with invaluable insights into identifying, addressing, and preventing sexual harassment while emphasizing his office's commitment to adopting and implementing robust policies and procedures to combat sexual harassment and promote gender inclusion. 

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About the authors

Musa Saho
Communications Officer, The Gambia
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