Fojo’s SEA Partners Host Organisational Gender Assessment Workshop

CCIM’s news production team and social media team in group discussion
CCIM’s news production team and social media team in group discussion.

Fojo Media Institute’s SEA partners—Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI) and Cambodia Centre for Independent Media (CCIM) —have hosted an organisational gender assessment workshops in the first and second week of July 2019. The workshops took place in Yangon and Phnom Penh respectively.

A team of two trainers from WOCAN, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & NRM, facilitated both workshops.

The workshop aims to enhance the collective capacity of the organisations by examining the institution’s policies, programs and activities from a gender perspective and identify strengths and weaknesses in promoting gender equality issues. The workshop also includes the development of an M&E system that will monitor and assess the relative progress made in gender mainstreaming and helps to build organisational ownership for gender equality initiatives and sharpens organisational learning on gender.

Barun Gurung, a gender trainer, explained on tools for organizational gender analysis framework
Barun Gurung, a gender trainer, explained on tools for organizational gender analysis framework.

Myanmar’s MJI targets to have applicable gender policy
On 3-4 July, a team of twelve MJI-staff; three women and nine men, has participated the 2-day “Gender and Organisational Development Workshop” to engage their understanding and opinions about gender.

For Myanmar’s context, the workshop highlighted the role of gender in media regarding balanced representation and inclusion of both women and men. For instance, reporting from the conflict zones, and the country’s ongoing peace process, media needs to cover not only men’s voices but also focus on women’s voices behind the scene.

MJI staff expressed their different learning experiences and understanding towards ‘gender’ with this workshop.

Naing Min Wai, a trainer at MJI said, “I have joined various gender workshops in Yangon throughout my trainer life. This is a very specific gender assessment workshop to develop the policy handbook for MJI. With the participation of all staff from director to administration in this workshop, we all have a good chance to discuss openly together. Finally, I hope to have a gender policy in MJI future.”

Kyaw Min Swe, MJI’s executive director, sharing his reflection on how to gender integrate and mainstream for MJI’s workplan
Kyaw Min Swe, MJI’s executive director, sharing his reflection on how to gender integrate and mainstream for MJI’s workplan.

Kyaw Min Swe, an Executive Director of MJI joined in 2018, said, “This training is definitely a smart approach towards the gender. The training team has both experts – male and female – trainers. Their presentation about gender analysis is so clear and hit its targets, especially in persuading the executives to apply.” Kyaw reflected that both trainers’ background carried an important factor for MJI staff to create mutual understanding as they shared the same cultural values.

Lae Lae Thin, a trainer with MJI since 2014, said that the WOCAN’s gender in-house workshop was a unique opportunity for MJI staff to learn and understand their gender perspective ‘collectively’. It was also very promising as people from decision making level participated in the workshop.

MJI’s staff in discussion on role of gender in media
MJI’s staff in discussion on role of gender in media.

Kyaw added, “I finally got ideas how to integrate and implement gender component in MJI. I have seen more opportunities after this workshop to apply gender knowledge in developing MJI policy and in our day-to-day life. We have missed some opportunities in the past due to absent of gender policy.”

After the workshop, MJI team has shown their motivation and determination to formalise the gender policy sooner, with its clear guidelines on gender mainstreaming in their core programs, by participation of concerned staff members. Importantly, Kyaw gave his words as a decision maker of MJI, to integrate gender-lens in their teaching process, modules and office management.

MJI also aims to conduct gender training of trainers (TOT), and to put gender policy in the MJI’s constitution as well as staff contracts in future.

CCIM’s news production team and social media team in group discussion
CCIM’s news production team and social media team in group discussion.

Cambodia’s CCIM targets to have gender-integrated workplan
On 8-10 July, a team of 20 CCIM-staff; 8 women and 12 men, joined the gender assessment workshop in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The participation was inclusive with staff from 5 departments – management, networking-advocacy and training, resource mobilisation, operations, and media. Currently, CCIM has 51 staff with 17 women program and project coordinators, with only one-woman reporter.

The workshop opened with a great expectation from Thida Lim, a chief of CCIM’s radio production team. Thida said, “After this training, I hope our male colleagues’ gender insensitive behaviours be changed.”

During the 3-day workshop, series of groups’ discussion on understanding nature and importance of gender in media, gender-analysis of organisational structure and responsibilities, challenges on individuals and society’s stereotyped and implicit biases, looking at a workplace through gender-lens, and emerging a gender integrated action plan.

Srun Ratha, a finance coordinator at CCIM, said, “This gender workshop is the first time for me and CCIM solely focusing on gender discussion with the participation of staff from all departments. Donors often talk about gender but do not support for this kind of workshop. I really want to have another workshop for my other colleagues at office.”

CCIM’s youth voices from media training team
CCIM’s youth voices from media training team.

Before joining CCIM, Srun has worked in the field of non-government organisation of agriculture and health sectors for more than 5 years but inexperience on gender topic. After this workshop, she was very excited for her clear understanding about gender, which was not promoting women issues, but for respect and inclusiveness.

In terms of gender in practice, staff expressed that CCIM has strengths in notion about gender as one-third of staff used to join various gender trainings and workshops. Yet, applying their knowledge in daily office life still remained as weakness. Besides, the current gender policy is in English language only, not in Khmer language. In future, the management will pay more attention and take serious action to improve the concerns from staff of different departments.

Nop Vy, a media director of CCIM, is with CCIM for more than a decade. Vy said, “This workshop creates an enabling atmosphere in which all staff from different ranks have a chance to speak up their concerns. Also, we are able to upgrade our understanding on gender issue and how to analyse.”

Other staff stressed that such experience of sharing the staff’s voices did not happen in normal office atmosphere as there was no comfortable space to raise such issues to their supervisors.

Gender Assessment Workshop facilitated by WOCAN, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Gender Assessment Workshop facilitated by WOCAN, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

As part of gender balanced representation among staff reporters, CCIM will consider how to recruit more women journalists as not having women journalists has been an issue for more than a decade. In future recruitment, CCIM’s management is determined to prepare enabling environment that includes gender equity and equality.

The workshop was concluded with a consensus of developing a gender working-committee, draft a relevant terms of reference (TOR), and select a gender focal person for CCIM. Moreover, CCIM will include their gender integrated programmes for their future workplan.

Both workshops benefited from “Gender Support Function” of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) based in Bangkok.

Report by Yu Lwin Soe and Nai Nai

Fojo Media Institute
Fojo is an independent institution at the non-profit public Linnaeus University, one of Sweden’s biggest universities. In this capacity, Fojo stands free from commercial and political interests, free to make independent decisions on how to serve journalism, freedom of expression and democracy. Fojo works to promote free, independent and professional journalism around the world.