EXAMINING MEDIA RESPONSE TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN THE GAMBIA – THE CHALLENGES AND THE WAY FORWARD
Keywords:Media Response, Gender-Based Violence, The Challenges, The Way Forward, Gambia
Purpose: Communication support for any development idea utilizing all levels of communication (interpersonal, group and mass) is very vital. The mass media industry has an important role to play in eliminating undesirable practices from society. Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of such practices. This study set out to examine the role of the media in tackling the menace of GBV in The Gambia, the challenges faced and how the challenges could be addressed.
Methodology : research methods of focus group and key informant interviews were adopted to determine the level to which the media had been proactive, the challenges they face and strategies for surmounting the challenges.
Findings : Findings show that the years of authoritarian rule have instilled the attitude of complacency and into many media practitioners in The Gambia and they have not been able to develop their investigative skills. Even though the current regime is largely liberal, the media needs to cultivate a new culture of undaunted dynamism. Apart from giving coverage to the programmes of development agencies on GBV, the media does not give adequate attention to sensitising and educating the public on gender-based violence and is also wanting in the area of following up cases of GBV while cases of online GBV are not given the required attention
Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy(recommendation): It was recommended that all available strategies be employed for the sensitisation and education of the public on GBV and media practitioners be empowered to adequately tackle GBV. Furthermore, media organizations must be encouraged to monitor online content so that they can respond to instances of GBV directed at people in The Gambia.
The Gambia’s Constitution 1997
The Gambia Women’s Act 2010
The Gambia’s Criminal Code