Gambia: Female Journalists Say Gender Stereotypes Still Exist in Newsrooms

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Dozens of women in Gambian media have told The Point that although women are in the majority in the media, they are still marginalized in editorial positions unlike their male counterparts.

One of the key factors to which many attribute this is the phenomenon of gender stereotyping, which they say is still the focus of attention in some media in the country.

Globally, women face an increase in backlash and abuse on social media and have also faced negative gender stereotypes and low representation in mainstream and news media organizations.

Annette Camara, president of the Association of Women Journalists of The Gambia, said a global study shows that “around 40% of women journalists avoid reporting certain stories” just to avoid embarrassment and harassment from all angles. .

“It has reduced women’s voices,” he added, saying women must compromise their safety.

Dwelling on the attacks and/or threats that female journalists face, Miss Camera said gender discrimination in the workplace is still a major issue experienced by almost all female colleagues.

“It’s no secret that women journalists everywhere have been victims of sexual harassment used as a silencer to silence them,” she added, noting that women often receive backlash when working on sensitive topics.

Sally Jeng, RFI’s Gambia correspondent, said you only see female reporters in newsrooms with editor and sub-editor roles held by men. She pointed out that there are women capable of occupying such positions.

“The cause of this unfair treatment is not the lack of capacity building as the University of The Gambia and the Media Academy for Journalism and Communications (MAJaC) are female-dominated schools. Hence, the problem is the patriarchal nature of media institutions,” she said.

Fatou Ellika Muloshi, news presenter at the Gambia Radio and Television Services, pointed out that coverage assignments are becoming more liberal, but added that there are some stereotypes which would be very difficult to break down.

“The idea of ​​more demanding and complex convergences for men and lighter ones for women seems to be a persistent business,” she added, saying that could change with more female editors.

Ajie Bintou Drammeh, also a news presenter at QTV, said the population of women in Gambian media is higher than that of men, but women are less visible except when it comes to looking good at television.

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