Programme journey

My story
Bassam
North-West Syria

“I have come to see the importance of gender equality. I want my female colleagues to have voices and to help make Syrian women heard and seen through the media.”

My workplace values equality

“I used to not consider the challenges women faced in their day-to-day and work lives, however; as a journalist I now stand up for the importance of women in restoring the balance needed for our society to develop.  The women in my workplace made me aware of the importance of  gender justice inside and outside our media organisation. The great thing is that we currently have women as executives in our organisation.”

“A large part of our audience that listens to our news are women, which is why its important to  offer wide-ranging news and be versatile with topics and representation.  I develop myself as a person by always entering into dialogue, opening myself up to new collaborations and listening carefully to audiences needs. As an advocate of equal rights for women, I empathize with the struggle women have in this industry trying to advocate for gender justice and I want to do my part. My work is not without its dangers. I work, and live with my lovely wife and two children and I always have to take precautions for the safety of my family.”

My personal media network

“In the Co-production Fund project where our media outlet teamed up to work together with a civil society organisation, it broadened my view on the realities of gender justice and other social developments. Due to this, we can approach the subjects from different angles and deepen the subject to bring it even closer to the people.

“I have become aware and self critical in my reporting and take gender into account for my whole organization”

I learn a lot from my journalist networks and the exchange with colleagues was very fruitful. We had a training group with women and men learning from each other about gender equality in the media. My peers are from different media outlets and it was interesting to see the same issues exists everywhere. This makes it more understandable when you disuses gender issues which sometimes remain abstract or personal if you only talk to direct colleagues. The training on gender-sensitive reporting made us discover that being a female journalist has its specific challenges and that stereotypes really exist, is not a theory. It can sometimes be challenging to keep gender mainstreamed as some people say its important but do not not put action to it or don´t have it integrated enough in their everyday working lives and in their editorial design. Its not only about making a programme for women, but integrating the thought of women in the design of our work. I´ve noticed this is not only a challenge to my organisation but some others as well. You can tell that they are not as up to speed with considering gender, whereas there are some organisations that act as a great role models and surprise us with content that really challenges social taboos. Through some trainings, we have become aware of biases and we now see  need to change. We also want to make the topic of gender meaningful for our media-audiences. My stories nowadays include more perspectives and this has enriched my journalism.”

“We as journalists should advocate for better gender equity in society”

My story

“To be honest, I never questioned the different positions men and women held in society, but since attending workshops on gender justice, I started to look at it very differently. Women and men are equal and deserve the same opportunities in order for society to develop. However, that requires change, and even more: action! I have a strong motivation to make gender justice a subject of discussion and to start publishing about it from an objective point of view.”

“They did not have to ask me twice to join a discussion group about gender equality. It provided me with the drive to use my media channel for a project that addresses gender taboos and challenges stereotypes in our community. The stereotypes projects will challenge people’s way of thinking towards gender equality. My ambition is to help media outlets look through a gender justice perspective. In my articles, I also focus on political and organisational changes. Policy makers, managers and journalists deserve a 360-degree view of the gender situation in Syria. It is essential to initiate policy and organisational changes that lead to acceptance of gender equality. 

My activities

“As a journalist, I go beyond publishing, because I feel so connected to the subject. I organise workshops, discussion forums, roundtables and webinars, and I develop and provide training and do coaching. I also started helping individuals in organisations to help develop their gender policies.”

“We saw the need to develop tools to professionalize gender-sensitive journalism and train and provide tools for evaluating gender in media content. These activities and tools help me and my colleagues to have a deeper level of engagement with most partners. It makes me happy to see change from the inside.

Gender is on the agenda

“I am proud to see that our efforts are motivating organisations to develop policies. Policy is the basis, but the implementation, monitoring and supervision keep the subject alive. Our advice and training lead to gender-sensitive HR policies, harassment policies, gender-sensitive content monitoring, and special attention to gender in all subjects. That shows how widely and seriously gender should be implemented in the media sector.”

“That a woman is now appointed editor-in-chief of one of the media partners was unthinkable five years ago. With her, the task of advocating for women’s rights is in good hands. In the end, that is what we do it for.”

What the EJSM program has brought the media industry

“When you realize how sensitive gender justice is in our society it is incredible to see how far we have come in the past 5 years, not only in my media outlet but also in other organisations in my media network. All media outlets that have partners with FPU have made gender policies in their organisation. Through our efforts and with  support from Synergy-Takamol and FPU, much has changed.”

It’s all about impact

“Our efforts under the guidance of the EJSM program have resulted in a better balance of content and workforce as we see fewer stereotypes in the media and we are happy to have qualified women in the position of chairperson and editor-in-chief”.

Download materials ›
We invite you to study the materials on the subject of gender. The program makes these materials available to the media industry in Syria and other countries where press freedom is under pressure.

Thanks to the support of the EJSM programme

 

Please find the summary of our gender mainstreaming approach here.

My lessons learned

“I do not gender equality as a fight against men and women, but rather a fight against stereotypes about men and women.”

“Gender justice is an important goal and not specifically an end result. I see a cultural change as a step by step process.”

“Time is needed to grasp the subject, but also to accept it, integrate it into policy and implement it in practice. Whether you are an implementer, a media partner or a donor, we need to give each other time.”

Lorem ipsum 

Support

This project was supported by SIDA 2016 -2021