The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched an all-female media unit in Somalia.
The initiative is aimed at upending stereotypes and combating challenges surrounding female journalists in the country.
Also, the unit is aimed at “providing a space where women media professionals can work with real decision-making authority and free from harassment”, UNDP said.
The initiative seeks to change the attitude of male journalists on harassment of their female counterparts, it added.
According to a recent survey, Somali women journalists faced harassment when conducting field work and in offices by their male counterparts.
Female journalists are being denied training opportunities, promotions and belittled even when they did reach a position of power.
“We hope this will be a game changer for the Somali media scene, opening up new opportunities for women journalists and shining a light on new subjects that have been ignored, particularly those that are important for women,” said Jocelyn Mason, UNDP’s representative in Mogadishu.
“For too long, Somali women journalists have been treated as second-class citizens and Somali news has ignored the stories and voices of half the population; now we are in charge of the boardroom and the narrative,” said Nasrin Mohamed Ibraham, the chief editor of the female-led unit dubbed Bilan.
Bilan which also means bright and clear in Somali is made up of six team members will be fully independent to pick its own projects which will be aired on TV, radio, print and online by one of Somalia’s leading media houses, Dalsan Media Group, and international media houses as well.