By Norman Katende
KAMPALA - Margaret Ssekagya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, has said that something needs to be done to stop the inequality and hate speech against women, which she said is deeply-rooted phenomenon around the world.
She said this at the opening of a two-day media workshop dubbed Turning the Page of Hate, running under the theme “Reporting the scourge of violence and discrimination against women”.
This was at Hotel Africana at the close of the week.
She spoke of the continued existence of gender inequality amid ongoing efforts to curb it.
“Inequality and abuse towards women denies them enjoyment of life and is deep-rooted in the different traditions, social and religious systems, and although steps have been taken to fight it, it still exists.”
The UN researcher said efforts driven towards having equal opportunities for women should not be kept “behind the scenes”, insisting that women should be seen in commanding positions, say like, heading departments of institutions, among others.
Uganda Journalist Union (UJU) president Lucy Ekadu speaks to the guests. PHOTO/Norman Katende
Giving an example of the media, Ssekagya placed blame on leaders who institute conditions that restrict journalists from reporting on specific critical issues.
“No one should be curtailed in reporting certain information if this information can help to improve the lives of people,” she said at the event that was organised by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television – Uganda Chapter.
The Uganda Journalist Union and Ethical Journalist Network were the co-organisers. The workshop was sponsored by the Norwegian government.
“You are agents of change. You bring the issues in the media, analyse them and help shape out attitudes and relevance,” Ssekagya told participants.
The director of Ethical Journalism Network, Aidan White took part in the event and her message to media groups was that they should have the power to either stop the vice of hate speech or contribute towards it at a time when media has become so much commercialised.