Comm Program backs Asian Center for Journalists-Ateneo de Manila University and STET forum on safe spaces for women journalists

Creating safe spaces that allow women journalists to do their jobs without fear has become a pressing necessity amid workplace adversities and political instabilities.

Media workers from Bacolod, Capiz, Cebu, Dumaguete, and Tacloban shared experiences where they were subjected to threats, harassment, intimidation, and bullying while carrying out their duties during the multisectoral forum “Lifelines: Creating Safe Spaces for Women Journalists” at the UP Cebu Lawak Sinehan on February 3, 2024.

Initiated by the STET-Women in Cebu Media and Asian Center for Journalism in partnership with the Communication Program of the College of Communication, Art and Design (CCAD), the event aims to start the conversation towards creating an environment where women journalists can thrive without fear.

Dr. Mira Ofreneo, Director of the Ateneo de Manila University Gender Hub, said a WGSS or Women Girl Safe Space can take many forms and its creation should be determined by the community’s needs.

Citing examples of safe spaces in other areas, she added that they can be gender hubs that serve to receive reports of sexual violence or centers that provide wellness, information, and other services.

According to Dr. Ofreneo, who facilitated the forum, the WGSS approach is about empowerment and women claiming control over their own lives and spaces.

Lifelines was in preparation for the “We-Move National Conference,” which will be held in Cebu next month. The objective of the project is to create a support system for women journalists on gender-sensitive issues, including psychological support.

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