Sierra Leone On the Rise
Xchange Perspectives (XcP) supported the production of eight Media for Peace-based short films on gender equality in Sierra Leone.
An ongoing Media for Peace session in Makeni, Sierra Leone, June 28, 2016.
Photo: XcP | Sebastian Prams
MUNICH – In most countries, gender equality is officially guaranteed by law, but women are still discriminated against almost everywhere, including in Sierra Leone.
In recent years, a number of laws have been passed in this West African country which improves the legal rights of women.
Nevertheless, women continue to face plenty of challenges, as these laws are not implemented with any kind of consistency: girls and women still struggle to gain access to education and work, they rarely have a right to express their views on social matters, and violent crimes against women aren’t investigated often. And these are just a few examples.
Only rarely does the media report on these problems. This is largely because talking about such matters is a taboo, and it is exacerbated by the fact that most people working in the media are men.
Sierra Leone On the Rise aims to amplify the voices of women in Sierra Leone. This Media for Peace project started with a two-week workshop in Makeni (Northern Province), where 16 young women and men were given training on how to make films, and eight people who had taken part in the previous project Sierra Leone “On the Mend” received advanced training.
Participants exchanged experiences and together looked for cases and stories which seemed particularly significant to them. They then developed the scripts. Alongside this, they held in-depth discussions about the media: above all, the part it can play in addressing critical themes and finding solutions through dialogue.
After the workshop, the participants produced eight short films. You can watch the films here.
The films will be shown in Sierra Leone and beyond, at events, on TV, at festivals, always with the same goal: to foster an open conversation on gender equality.
This project not only promoted a plurality of opinion, and helped to make local people more media-savvy, it also paid for film equipment that will remain in Sierra Leone and allow further films to be made on relevant topics.
A project by WELTFILME.org and Culture Radio in cooperation with SLADEA, and Xchange Perspectives – with financial support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Brot für die Welt.