Election Reporting in Cameroon : Encouraging Gender-Based Approaches
Some 70 women from the ten regions of the country are currently taking part in a three-day capacity building symposium in Yaounde
Ensuring efficient and gender inclusive reports during elections periods in Cameroon remains the concern of government and the civil society. It is within this context that the Cameroon Association of Women in Media (AFMEC) in partnership with the United States Embassy in Yaounde is organising a three-day symposium to enhance the reporting skills of journalists during elections. Organised under the theme: “Ensuring a gender sensitive media coverage of upcoming council and legislative elections in Cameroon,” the training bringing together 70 women from the 10 regions of the country was opened in Yaounde on August 21, 2019 by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication, Felix Zogo, on behalf of the Minister of Communication, in the presence of the Board Chair of the Electoral Board of Elections Cameroon and the President of the National Communication Council amongst other officials.
Opening the workshop and lauding the initiative, Felix Zogo said the symposium comes at a crucial moment in the run-up to the parliamentaryand municipal elections in Cameroon. “In this process, the media, through their mass education and outreach missions can contribute to a greater participation of all social actors in these future elections. The role of media women is even more decisive, hence the importance of this national symposium which is focused on considering the gender approach in the media coverage of municipal and legislative elections in Cameroon,” he stated.
To the National Coordinator of AFMEC, Becky Bessong Tchonko, the main objective of the association is to promote the respect of ethnics through training and friendship. “Considering that 42 out of the 50 media women who benefitted from last year’s training effectively covered senatorial and presidential elections, we can say that AFMEC certainly contributed to the increase of elected women in the House,” she said. The AFMEC National Coordinator added that they were 50 last year and are now over 76, a glaring example that media women and other women are heeding to the call of getting required skills to be veritable leaders.
Representing the US embassy, the Public Affairs Officer, Leanne Cannon said the way women’s participation is covered in the news can help or hinder the ability of women to make a full contribution to the country’s democratic development. “Media reporting helps ensure transparency and accountability and promote participation,” she highlighted