UN Women trains Papua New Guinea journalists to promote women’s rights

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea — With funding from the Government of Australia, UN Women has trained a group of 14 journalists in Papua New Guinea on how to help promote gender equality and women in leadership, and prevent violence against women and girls during elections. 

Violence typically flares around elections in Papua New Guinea. Votes are currently being counted from this month’s general election.

Also, the country has made very slow progress towards gender equality. It ranked 160 out of 161 countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s 2021 Gender Inequality Index.

UN Women Deputy Country Representative Caroline Nyamayemombe , left, gives a certificate to journalist Claudia Tally of Post Courier at the end of a UN Women journalism workshop in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 30 June 2022. Photo: UN Women/Aidah Nanyonjo

 “Your role as journalists is so critical to help the country to move from that position,” UN Women Deputy Country Representative Caroline Nyamayemombe told the journalists at the workshop in Port Moresby on 29-30 June.

“Many times, when I listen to the radio or watch TV news, I can tell the beliefs of the person behind the production regarding gender equality,” she said. “You can tell through the headlines or interview questions. At UN Women, we believe journalists are change-makers. Your beliefs influence perception and can help to transform society.” 

UN Women staff members from the Papua New Guinea office and the Asia and Pacific Regional Office led the workshop. The journalists were from Post Courier, National Broadcasting Corporation, The National, Loop, FM100, EMTV, and final-year students of journalism and public relations at the University of Papua New Guinea.

UN Women Regional Communications Manager Montira Narkvichien asked the journalists to promote gender equality by giving women a platform to share stories of success, instead of focusing on negative issues. 

“We need this kind of news that leaves women full of pride, respect, protection, and potential of breaking the glass ceiling in their careers,” she said. “It gives a different kind of notion of media on how journalists are supporting gender equality and creating an atmosphere where women and girls live life free from violence.” 

One of the journalists at the workshop, Waliagali Olewale, a subeditor at the National Broadcasting Corporation, said: “Let us go back with an agenda of reporting on issues related to women. We need to start drafting stories from positive angles. Some stories have so much negativity that makes women lag. As we draft these stories, we need to ask ourselves about the kind of message we send. It is our responsibility as media to paint a positive picture about women and our country.”

 At the end of the training, the journalists formed a group that will focus on reporting on gender equality and empowerment of women. 

Before the training, UN Women Country Representative Themba Kalua had a breakfast meeting with editors from different media houses to strengthen UN Women’s partnership with them in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Papua New Guinea.