About the fellowship
AWJP and ICFJ’s West African GBV Reporting Fellowship.
West Africa has a long history of gender-based violence, perpetuated by a culture of impunity and the underrepresentation of women in positions of influence and power.
The crisis has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a surge in cases of domestic and sexual violence.
Women in the region today are facing “two pandemics,” while at the same time carrying the burden of caring for their families. In the past two decades, West Africa has experienced rapid democratization and significant economic progress. However, the abundance of natural resources and economic advances in the regions don’t benefit poor and rural communities.
High rates of GBV contributed by the rise in poverty, inhibits and limits the participation of West African women economically and socially. Though women make up about half of West Africa’s population, they are significantly underrepresented in elected positions and their voices are often missing in decision-making.
Ending gender-based violence and discrimination requires deeper and broader cultural, societal, and political buy-in. The underrepresentation of women in public spaces, combined with their continued objectification in the media, undermines efforts to address the deeply entrenched and damaging culture of discrimination. As the “gatekeepers of culture,” the media play a critical and essential role in righting this long-term wrong.
The Africa Women Journalism Project (AWJP) and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) building on the AWJP’s objective to amplify the voices of minority groups and spotlight under-explored issues impacting on women and other marginalised groups with the support of the Ford Foundation Office of West Africa is pleased to launch the West African GBV Reporting Fellowship.
The fellowship program, which will span over 18 months, will be divided into 3 phases and is open to women journalists from Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. The first phase aims to provide learning sessions on GBV in West Africa to 60 journalists who will be eligible for micro-grants to produce an in-depth story based on the information covered in this first phase.
The second phase will see 3 journalists from each of the 3 target countries access skills training and mentorship as well as grants to produce stories over 9 months. They will also have access to editorial, data and design resources with the support of the AWJP team who will work with the fellows to produce fact based stories aimed at changing the narrative around GBV in their countries.
The third and final phase of the project, will bring in the fellows newsrooms and allow for peer-to-peer training with the fellows sharing what they have learnt with their newsrooms as well as setting up structures to ensure the continued reporting on GBV even after the project ends.
You can find out more about the AWJP Team here, and mentors below.