Sudanese women journalists started an initiative that strifes to defend the rights of women journalists.
The journalists held a press conference at the Teiba Information Centre in Khartoum on Thursday to announce the start of the initiative, which still has to be named.
The initiative aims to improve the women journalists' rights to work, equal pay, and promotion together with the possibilities of receiving training. It is registered with the Sudanese Registrar of Companies as a non-profit organisation.
Sudan counts 260 women journalists working in 21 Sudanese newspapers
As a first activity the initiative sends a group of women reporters to Cairo to follow a training course on comprehensive journalism at the Rose El Yousif Press Foundation, initiator Lubna Abdallah told Radio Dabanga.
“We inteded to send 20 trainee journalists, but due to the conditions of some group members the number is reduced to 15 trainees. Their accommodation in Cairo is free.”
The arrival of the new group was well-received in the Sudanese press circles, according to Abdallah, “except for a few journalists who launched an attack on social media”.
According to statistics the group reported at the conference, there are 260 women journalists working in 21 Sudanese newspapers. Of the total 147 editorial sections, 12 are headed by women. There is one Sudanese newspaper with 25 women operating as journalists, including the editor-inc-chief.
The Sudanese Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) reported in May this year that the Sudanese security service NISS abused and initimated 15 women reporters between May 2016 and May this year. The service seized 66 print-runs of Sudanese newspapers, and ten newspapers were suspended for days.
JHR concluded that there is a phenomenon of assault and systematically targeting the rights of women reporters. In a press statement the network said it is interested in monitoring, documenting and reporting these cases. “From our observations, the reported number is a small percentage of the actual violations that are increasing at an accelerating pace.”