Somali women journalists participate a training session held by SJS in November 2023. The activity is part of SJS initiative funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). | PHOTO/ SJS.
Somali women journalists participate a training session held by SJS in November 2023. The activity is part of SJS initiative funded by Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). | PHOTO/ SJS.

MOGADISHU, Somalia 8 March 2024 – On International Women’s Day, the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) calls for the inclusion of women in the media and the provision of resources and opportunities to support them.

While women journalists account for less than 30% of the total media workforce in Somalia, they continue to face significant disparities, particularly in securing top positions. Both state and private media outlets predominantly assign women journalists to lighter tasks with lower pay compared to their male counterparts, who often occupy roles as reporters, producers, editors and even senior directors. This disparity not only affects the professional development of women journalists currently in the field but also discourages aspiring Somali women from entering the profession.

“Somali women should have equal opportunities for employment and advancement in the media industry, including roles such as directors, producers, writers, journalists, editors, and executives,” said SJS Secretary General, Abdalle Mumin “We must also address gender bias, discrimination, and barriers to entry of the profession.”

Women’s inclusion in the media is essential for promoting gender equality, empowering women and girls, challenging stereotypes, and fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

We emphasize that inclusion for women in the media requires collaboration among media organizations and their managers, editors, policymakers, advocacy groups, as well as the general public who consume the media content. SJS will advocate for all these stakeholders to address these barriers and promote diversity and inclusive media landscape for all.

In this regard, SJS has completed a tailored training and mentorship program for 20 journalists starting from November 2023. We are confident that these women journalists, many of whom hail from marginalized backgrounds, possess the potential to make valuable contributions to the local media landscape and influence societal perspectives. Over the past five years, SJS has committed 40% of our initiatives to support women journalists, and we are actively striving to achieve a 50% allocation, despite encountering occasional challenges.

“When women are included and represented in various roles across different forms of media, it reflects the diversity of experiences and contributions of women in society. This representation provides role models for women and girls and helps challenge stereotypes and traditional gender norms and that is why SJS is focal on empowering women journalists,” added SJS Secretary General Abdalle Mumin.

SJS notes that Women’s inclusion in the media should be seen as a matter of social justice and equity. It involves addressing systemic barriers and biases that have historically excluded women from equal opportunities and representation in media content, employment, and decision-making roles. Legal and policy frameworks are also required to achieve gender equality and inclusion in the media.

“The fact that there are no legal and policy frameworks in place to promote gender equality and non-discrimination in the media sector is another part of the challenge and therefore the Somali federal parliament and the regional assemblies can do more to create such laws to ensure women’s inclusion in media,” Mr. Mumin said.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, please read an article by SJS Gender Secretary, Anfa Aden Abdi published by various online media here.

Moreover, on World Radio Day, SJS celebrated the vital role of female radio journalists in Somalia. Read our statement here: