A workshop on building advocacy skills for female journalists was given by the UNESCO Iraq office for a group of Iraqi female journalists and civil activists from various NGOs. In light of the rising tide of online attacks on Iraqi female journalists and the high-risk rates made worse by the unsteady political situation, this activity takes place within the framework of the MDP Iraq, Multi-International Donors Programme, where the Communications Information Sector of UNESCO Iraq works to improve the level of advocacy among journalistic groups, including females.
UNESCO works with international donors to enhance the working conditions for journalists in Iraq, it also wants to educate journalists, particularly female journalists, about effective advocacy strategies that alter society by addressing the dangers and difficulties they face.
Iraqi female journalists need to know how to handle threats, whether they arise online or offline, according to journalist Raja Hamid. For more than 20 years, silence has characterized the situation for female journalists. She continues, “Thank goodness, UNESCO’s efforts improved the situation and placed us on the correct route to confront these threats and problems through group action and advocacy campaigns.
The recent judicial precedents are the most significant risk that journalist Nour Al-Qaisi identified that needs to be addressed by international organizations. These legal precedents have largely dealt with the information on social media networks, and there is a lot of false and misleading information online that affects female journalists and may be used by the nation’s security forces, endangering their safety.
Maha Ali, a participant in the session and one of the College of Media’s most recent graduates, said: “I had no idea that female journalists in Iraq faced such a variety of threats. I am now able to comprehend the realities of the working environment for journalists as a result of this session, and I will stress to all of my graduates’ colleagues the significance of supporting advocacy campaigns to defend women journalists.
Through MDP, UNESCO aims to give female journalists and activists courses and trainings that will improve their awareness of dangers and how to manage them. Additionally, it seeks to persuade political leaders to improve the standing of female journalists in Iraqi public policies, laws, and legislation.