By Gboko Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monrovia-In a bid to deepen media practitioners’ knowledge on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), the Liberia Initiative for the Promotion of Rights, Identity, and Equality (LIPRIDE) alongside Stop Aids in Liberia (SAIL), Action Aid-Liberia and the Anti-Aids Media Network conducted a two-day training workshop for a slew of journalists.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights or SRHR is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction, according to Wikipedia. “It is a combination of four fields that in some contexts are more or less distinct from each other, but less so or not at all in other contexts. These four fields are sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health, and reproductive rights. In the concept of SRHR, these four fields are treated as separate but inherently intertwined.”
The event took place on July 16 and 17 at the Lutheran Guest House in Sinkor, bringing ten journalists from Monrovia and rural-based institutions while also observing the strict social distancing and mask-wearing rule.
Giving an overview while welcoming the attendees, Evans Adofo, a staff of SAIL, said the training is routinely held for journalists to bring them up to speed on what SRHR entails and how it can be used to foster a balanced and independent reportage.
Day 1 of the training, conducted by Adofo, focused on the introduction of SRHR to journalists. It examined the various instruments and protocols adopted by countries across the world, including Liberia which insulates SRHR. He furthered that journalists become negligible when they fail to make their reports fact-based by referencing the various instruments and protocols.
Buttressing him, Necus Andrews, head of the Anti-Aids Media Network, said improper reportage, biased and opinionated stories lead to hate against the minority groups, including the LGBT community.
Day 2 of the training took a cursory review of stories in the Liberian media against the LGBT community. The trainees looked at many challenges affecting their capacities on reporting properly on SRHR and the LGBT community.
Elton Tiah of Grand Bassa said many journalists are not enlightened on the issues of SRHR. He said more needs to be done to have journalists involved, especially those in the rural areas.
Akoi Baysah, assistant secretary-general of the Press Union of Liberia called on the collaborating organizations to do more in the provision of grants to finance independent and balance stories.