Women’s leadership programme spot-lights media role in supporting women issues [Archives:2007/1034/Front Page]

March 19 2007

Fatima Al-Ajel
Sana'a, 18 March ) Women Journalists Without Chains in collaboration with the Canada Fund, a development programme for local and international aid, launched the first annual training programme for female leaders and media skills on Saturday 17th March at Sana'a International Hotel.

The seminar presentations focused on the role of the media in improving women's lives and ensuring that women play an active role in social and political life. The training programme was led by the Deputy of the National Commission for Women, Horia Mashaheer. A seminar session was launched to discuss the focal points of the training programme with participants

The chief-editor of the newspaper Al-Nade, Sami Qalib presented a seminar on the importance of the media in informing the public and its relationship to women in particular. He explained the mass media and women are both marginalised in Yemen's nascent democratic environment. Qalib explained that women, the political parities and independent mass media are never given the spot-light during official occasions because the officially sanctioned Yemeni media are run by officials opposed to greater pluralism and dialogue.

Qalib believes that the independent mass media is still too weak to provide civil society with a forum for discussion and debate, however, he hopes that the continued development of the media and the expansion of its role as well as the continued improvement and education of women will bode well for the future. This is important because the official mass media often takes a discriminatory line against party newspapers. When they do, on rare occasions, discuss women's issues, they tend to propagate a marginal view about them. If women's accomplishments are mentioned they are often tucked away in a column on an inside page. “Both the independent news media and women have to strengthen ourselves to be able to face the difficulties that will face us in the future