The primary all-women media home in Somalia has been launched, making a uncommon alternative for feminine journalists within the nation to analysis and publish tales they wish to inform.
Led by one of many few feminine senior information producers within the nation, the workforce of six will produce content material for TV, radio and on-line media on points equivalent to gender-based violence, ladies in politics and feminine entrepreneurs.
Crucially, they may have the autonomy to make editorial selections.
“We wish to cowl these points and problem societal beliefs that ladies ought to keep at dwelling,” mentioned the editor-in-chief, Nasrin Mohamed Ahmed, who has labored as a journalist for 12 years and is a founding member of the Somali Ladies Journalist Organisation.
Ladies working within the media in Somalia face a number of challenges, from being ignored and denied promotions to bullying and sexually harassment. “Males suppose you need to are available, learn the information and go dwelling,” mentioned Ahmed, 27.
Bilan’s deputy editor, Fathi Mohamed Ahmed (no relation), 25, mentioned sexual harassment was rife within the media sector and he or she has needed to develop techniques to keep at bay advances from male colleagues. “The most important problem dealing with feminine journalists in Somalia is abuse, particularly from male journalists,” she mentioned. “They provide that can assist you however provided that you give them one thing in return.”
Ahmed added: “Males have mentioned issues to me like, ‘you’re lovely, I like your physique’, and it was solely after I mentioned I used to be engaged that they stopped.”
Bilan, which implies vivid and clear in Somali, will likely be primarily based within the capital, Mogadishu, at Dalsan Media Group, one of many nation’s largest media organisations. It can publish information and options, and supply coaching and mentorship from established Somali and worldwide journalists, together with the BBC’s Lyse Doucet and Razia Iqbal, Channel 4’s Lyndsey Hilsum and Mohammed Adow at Al Jazeera. Six-month internships will likely be supplied to the perfect final-year feminine journalism college students at two universities in Mogadishu.
Funded by the United Nations Improvement Programme (UNDP), the challenge is a year-long pilot, however Jocelyn Mason, UNDP’s resident consultant in Mogadishu, is assured it’s going to turn into a everlasting set-up, and may additionally be prolonged into Somalia’s areas. “We hope this will likely be a gamechanger for the Somali media scene, opening up new alternatives for ladies journalists and shining a light-weight on topics which have been ignored, significantly these which can be necessary for ladies,” mentioned Mason.
The workforce at Bilan features a girl who’s leaving her household for the primary time to work in Mogadishu. “I come from a rural clan which doesn’t need any of its members to turn into journalists, particularly younger ladies,” mentioned Shukri Mohamed Abdi. “We come from the bush, the place the idea of being a journalist doesn’t exist.”
One other member of the workforce, Kiin Hasan Fakat, grew up in one of many three Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. She hopes Bilan will present a protected and galvanizing surroundings for ladies to inform their tales. “Ask any Somali who they rely on. They are going to all the time say ‘my mom’. The whole lot in Somalia depends upon ladies – the financial system, the house, the kids, the household.”