Women Media and Change (WOMEC) is a national independent Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organization established in 1994 in response to the need of promoting effective use of the media for the advancement of women.
WOMEC recognizes that women’s issues are a dimension of many issues such as education, health, environment, and human rights, and is committed to giving women public voice and visibility through the mass media to expand their participation in the public arena.
Since WOMEC was founded and in a relatively brief period of operation, its work and activities have earned for it very quickly growing respect and recognition among women’s organisation and individual women who seek to make an impact in their chosen fields of endeavour through effective use of the media.
WOMEC is the only such organisation in Ghana actively working in this direction.
WOMEC believes all segments of the population must be given equal space to develop their full potentials. In line with this, WOMEC is committed to creating a forum for networking and fostering exchanges among different segments of the population.
The underlying principles of WOMEC are based on the following beliefs:
- That not only do women belong to the planet, but the future of the planet depends on women
- That women and men must be given equal space to develop their full potential
- That to accelerate development, both women and men must be part of the decision making process at all levels of national life
- That the media are crucial for recording activities of men and women and constitute our collective memory
- That the trend of excluding women’s issues and activities from media content has adverse implications for societal progress and therefore should be halted.
Specifically, WOMEC aims at achieving its goal by:
- Providing media skills training for women both in leadership and at the grassroots level
- Giving greater visibility to women through the media
- Giving visibility to female electioneering candidates through the media before, during and after elections
- Serving as a centre of excellence that focuses on the training, capacity building and create a platform for exchange of ideas and facilitates networking of media women in the sub-region for female journalists;
- Developing a database on women in the media in Africa which will hold information on the human resources of female journalists in Africa;
- Establishing a resource centre for female journalists to learn new skills and access information;
- Developing a mentorship program between young female journalists and the older experienced journalists in the West African sub-region;
- Organising ICT training for women NGO’s and women in media to help them to effectively use ICT in their work;
- Establishing an exchange program for female journalists in Africa to enable them share experiences, ideas and learn from each other.
The foregoing reasons suggest such an organization that will:
- Create a forum for networking between media practitioners and groups working in the field of gender through seminars, workshops and publications;
- Undertake research on gender issues with a view to providing up-to-date facts and figures to service women’s organizations and other institutions concerned with advocacy and awareness creation;
- Organise ICT training for Women Parliamentarian and Women NGO’s Representatives;
- Organise training workshops on effective media use for Women in Parliament and women groups.
The key areas of WOMEC’s work are:
- Empowering women to take a more central role in decision making through Voter Education, Gender Training and Presentation Skills
- Training Women Parliamentarians to effectively use the media to their benefit
- Training women in media skills to equip them to use the media effectively
- Training women in the effective use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- HIV/AIDS education
Though there may have been efforts by some women in media to achieve similar objectives, these interventions though enthusiastic and well meaning, have been very limited in impact, scope and significance. The result is that women continue to be media shy and many are not aware of the power of the media in shaping, and advancing their advocacy for change and progress.