Monday, July 22, 2024

Worker’s Day: Celebrating Resilience of Gambian Female Media Workers

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Worker’s Day: Celebrating Resilience of Gambian Female Media Workers

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By Dawda Baldeh

May 1st marks International Workers’ Day, observed worldwide to honour the accomplishments of workers and to march for equitable wages and improved working conditions. The day also emphasizes the significance of labour rights and the role of workers in national progress. In this edition of The Fatu Network Spotlight, we spotlight several Gambian female journalists who have blazed trails in a predominantly male industry, shattering gender stereotypes. For these young female media professionals, the internationally recognized day holds additional significance as they inspire a new generation of journalists, both male and female. In The Gambia, these women journalists have made significant contributions to paving the way for other women to enter the male-dominated media landscape.

Isatou Keita, GPU Vice President

Isatou Keita, a Gambian journalist and news writing instructor at the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC), serves as the Vice President of the Gambia Press Union. She has worked with the state broadcaster, Gambia Radio and Television Service (GRTS), advancing from a reporter to a senior reporter, hosting shows, and presenting news. Her presence on television has captivated many over the years with her commanding voice, creativity, and adept handling of complex stories.

“As a woman in a male-dominated field, it’s been a journey of resilience and breaking barriers. Today, I celebrate the progress we have made and reaffirm our commitment to equality and empowerment in the media industry,” she reacted.

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Jainaba Sonko-QTV News Anchor and Senior Reporter

Jainaba Sonko, a senior reporter and news anchor at QTV, the country’s first privately licensed television station, is a fervent advocate for gender equality and youth development. Her dedication is evident in her persistent efforts to promote the advancement of women and youth. As the host of Youth Dialogue, she brings to light the narratives of the younger generation. This day is meaningful to her as it reflects on the path she has travelled to attain her current standing.

“When you are a woman in the newsroom you have to redouble your efforts as your mate counterparts,” she said.

Jainaba, like many others, has noted that female journalists are often paid less than their male counterparts, despite having equivalent bachelor’s or master’s degrees — a problem that is prevalent globally.

“There are not enough role models for women in the media landscape for a woman to take a lead in the newsroom. Few media outlets are led by women and that too happens when the woman is the owner of the media house,” she added.

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She noted that media houses are hardly led by women unless the owner is a woman.

“This is why young people like myself in the media will lack role models to look up to. Thumbs up to the few women who owned their media houses and encouraged other women,” she said.

Annet Camara, WoJAG President

Annet serves as the President of the Women Journalists Association of the Gambia (WoJAG). She has experience working in multiple media outlets and now holds the position of Public Relations Officer for the City Link Ostend Banjul Project. For Ms. Camara, Workers’ Day serves as a reminder of the labour movement’s significance and the challenges that workers, including journalists, endure in their fight for equitable treatment and rights.

“As female journalists in a male-dominated media landscape in The Gambia, it’s an opportunity to reflect on our contributions and challenges. We celebrate by amplifying the voices of women in our profession, advocating for gender equality in media, and recognizing the achievements of female journalists despite the obstacles they face,” she said.

Juldeh Njie is a Gambian female journalist with a wealth of experience in the media holding various positions.

For Juldeh, this day is of utmost importance as a female journalist.

“Happy International Workers Day to you. For me, Workers Day is like another day. Today like any other day, I was on a live program about the upcoming 15th OIC summit which will he be held in the Gambia on the 4th and 5th of May.  I was able to strive in this profession due to hard work, persistent and consistency,” she commented.

In The Gambia, the media landscape has been predominantly male dominated, requiring women to exert considerable effort to carve out paths and surmount challenges to secure senior roles. Nevertheless, the narrative is slowly shifting as more women enter the field, inspiring numerous others who aspire to pursue journalism.

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