Journalists across the Caribbean learned about environmental and gender issues in a media training on March 1st. The half-day training, organized by SAEDI Consulting (Barbados) Inc together with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, supported over 30 journalists in learning about the intersection of environmental and gender issues, and increased their capacity to report on related topics.
With environmental issues and climate change at the forefront of global protests and high-level meetings, journalists and communicators play an important role in informing the public and holding decision makers accountable.
“As a gender expert, I know folks like me can’t do this work alone,” said Leisa Perch, CEO and Founder of SAEDI Consulting (Barbados) Inc. "We need journalists to share gender and environment stories and to join us in advocating why gender matters."
Leisa, who led the opening session of the media training, said she was thrilled to see the turn out and level of engagement amongst attendees. “I’m excited to see how these reporters will incorporate these learnings into their newsrooms and publications,” she said.
In the workshop, attendees learned why environmental issues like climate change have gendered impacts, how to report more sensitively on gender issues, what upcoming global environmental issues they should have on their radar and how to find expert sources on these topics.
“Caribbean media [plays a role] against very long odds, to ensure that the societies they serve have a fighting chance against the looming existential threats,” said Sonia Gill, Secretary General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.
According to Gill, the workshop, between subject matter experts in gender and environment with union members, “will lead to greater understanding, on all sides, as well as improved capacity to work together.”
Daniel Abugre Anyorigya, a journalist in Accra, Ghana, reporting about gender and environment, joined the training as a guest speaker. Anyorigya, who is both a reporter and environmental activist, shared with the attendees how he balances both roles, and how journalists can seek accountability from the government on environmental and gender-responsive budgeting.
Betty Kankam-Boadu, a journalist who attended the training, said she feels more knowledgeable and confident about reporting on environment and gender issues. As a feminist, her work in newsrooms for the last decade has focused on gender equity.
“It was helpful to take a step back and look at these issues from a holistic perspective during the training. It made me think of how I can incorporate more environmental issues into the work I’m already doing,” said Kankam-Boadu.