By: R. Joyclyn Wea

Monrovia-February-15-TNR:The advocacy working group on safe abortion has started a four-day program for media actors in Liberia. Over the course of the next four days, approximately 25 participants mostly journalists and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Reporters will perceive SRHR issues as more than just women’s rights issues; rather, they will view them as topics of interest.

As media actors, they play a crucial role in shaping how women perceive and comprehend the discourse surrounding safe abolition in Liberia.

The goal of the program, according to Naomi Tulay, Executive Director of Community Health Initiative, is to improve moral and values-based behavior within the media organization, promoting a responsible and constructive influence on public opinion about journalism and the reporting of topics on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women.

“We thought it wise that over the years in as much as we are advocating for a safe space as it relates to sexual reproductive health and rights, particularly women’s rights to their body anatomy we needed to partner with the media,” Madam said.

She maintained that, “The media landscape is something that cannot be overemphasized and all must work together to unpack how stigmatizing attitudes toward abortion in the media cause harm to women and girls and how can we collectively identify a way forward to promote access to SRHR services specifically around safe abolition care in Liberia. “

“Information and how it shifts public perceptions and attitudes so we feel that if we are working with you to address this particular topic, it is very important, and the accuracy that it provides enables you to report from a space of empathy and also putting women right center approach and not at your own bias that you come with.”

She feels that if the media value is aligned with the advocacy around safe abolition, it will encourage you to report earlier around bias and inaccurate and responsible reporting as it relates to value clarification and attitude transformation around safe and legal abolition in Liberia.

Leila Precious Dolo- executive director of ‘Help a Mother and Newborn Initiative’ is strong on ensuring that women and girls can have access to the care they deserve specifically during pregnancy.  

“We believe that women should have direction, over their bodies because they are the ones going through the situation and we are of the strong conviction that the media is going to play a huge part because if the media are aware of the issue, they can reach the message to thousands of people across the country and we can be able to shift the mindset of the people on the SRHR issues,” Ms. Dolo added.

She furthered, “We hope that all of us can be able to have a safe conversation, share our beliefs, unlearn, learn and unlearn, relearn things that we already know, and then, we can all be able to be an advocate for SRHR particularly passing the new public health law.”  

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