Encouraging female journalists to become a "better version of themselves"
To enable female journalists from MediaSahel for Women partner radio stations to assert themselves more within their editorial offices, they were offered training sessions on personal development in late February in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
"I can't do it, I won't manage, I have nothing to offer, I don't have the right profile or skills..." How can we silence this little inner voice, which is still all too common among female journalists? By offering them personal development sessions! MediaSahel for Women has just offered workshops on this theme to 24 female journalists and hosts in Burkina Faso.
For the trainer, Aissata Sankara, the idea was to boost their self-confidence, in order to enable them to assert themselves more in their editorial offices. She says that the women rarely make their voices heard, especially in editorial meetings, where they are not bold enough to suggest and advocate for stories.
Removing the barriers
"Female journalists have all the technical skills required to access positions of responsibility and cover stories of all types," says the trainer. "Their only obstacle is fear of jumping in."
We therefore need to remove the barriers to allow them to reach their full potential.
An objective that seems to have been achieved, for the majority of the women, at the end of the training. "I'm now ready to stand up for my ideas," affirms Fatimata Ouédraogo from Radio Wend-Panga. Rasmata Ouédraogo, from RTB2 in Fada N'Gourma, adds: "Before, I was scared that I would be ridiculed in editorial meetings. Now, I'm going to put forward economic and political stories".
Pauline Bicaba, from RTB Boucle du Mouhoun, acknowledges that she had "a real problem with self-confidence". But, over the course of the training session, she realised that, as a woman, she had "the power to act and change things". And to fight: "Things are going to change as of right now: I'm going to aim for the position of editor-in-chief!"
Some of the participants, for example Nathalie Damoué, resolved to create and host programmes aimed at women in their communities. "Aw Kaan, which means 'Our voice' will be a monthly programme in the form of a round table, offering women from Balé the opportunity to express themselves on the air," explains the young host of Radio Voix des Balés.
And, she continues: "I already have a list of partners in mind who will be able to support us by associating their image with the programme, while also offering gadgets to motivate women to participate.”
Similar sessions will be held in April in Niamey (Niger) for female journalists from project partner radio stations.