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Call for media to provide equal gender reporting in poll build up

Dawn Gibson
Monday, February 17, 2014

THE media plays a key role in holding the State accountable to its decisions on behalf of the people.

These were the sentiments of a participant at a Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) workshop that was hosted in Suva earlier this week.

Shazia Usman, a member of the Fiji Women's Rights Movement, said such initiatives like that of forum were important, particularly prefacing something like the general election.

"FWRM is advocating for a more gender/human rights aware journalism in Fiji, where equal voice and airtime is given to women thus representing women in their multiple roles in society, which is intrinsic to freedom of speech and of expression," Ms Usman said.

"As an NGO, FWRM also faces similar challenges to that of CCF's in getting its advocacy messages to its constituency and acknowledge that the mass media plays an integral role in message delivery."

Ms Usman said in the lead-up to the September polls, FWRM was working with news media organisations around the country to develop a guide for media outlets.

"It explores how to report from a gender and human rights perspective, so as to honour the voices — and reflect the needs — of Fiji's voters, no matter who they are, where they live, or what they believe."

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