Members representing the Somali Media Association (SOMA) and member media houses attended a WIKIGAP Event jointly organized and conducted by the Ambassador of Sweden to Somalia Mr. Andreas von Uexkull, the International Media Support –IMS- and FOJO Media Institute.

The first WIKIGap event has been held at the Peace Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia on March 8, 2018.

Directors and members from the various radio stations, TV stations, CSO. Banadir regional authority Somali National University and participants from other regions were the main participants in the one-day event coincided with the International Women’s Day March 8, 2018.

The meeting was aiming to raise public awareness on the WIKIGap Initiative by Swedish Embassies and Wikimedia to gather people around the world to increase the representation of articles about women on Wikipedia also to highlight the need for articles by women.

In his opening remarks, the Swedish Ambassador to Somalia explained that Wikipedia is the world’s largest online and user-generated encyclopedia. He said its contents partly set our view of the world, but there is great imbalance on Wikipedia, like in society at large.

“To contribute more accurate picture, the Swedish embassy and our partner International Media Support and the Swedish Media Center for Journalists – FOJO has initiated today’s WikiGap on the International Women’s Day.” Mr. Andreas von Uexkull, the Ambassador of Sweden to Somalia explained.

He said together with our partners, we are now creating more articles about women to bring attention about more gender equal internet.

“WikiGap will help improve women’s participation in practice, enhancing gender equality and contribution of women to peace and security and development is top Swedish priority for Somalia. “ Mr. Andreas von Uexkull, the Ambassador of Sweden to Somalia highlighted.

Speaking at the event, Eng. Abdirahman Omar Osman Yarisow, the Governor of Banadir Region and Mayor of Mogadishu has appreciated the Embassy of Sweden, the International Media Support and the Swedish Media Center for Journalists – FOJO for initiating the WikiGap program. He said the program which is new to Somalia will eventually empower women in the society and the media.

During the event, a Panel Discussion has been held by group of women provided the opportunity of exchanging information and experiences on how Somali women could be developed especially in aspect of profiling, writing and in the media.

The group of women participating in the Panel Discussion was from Mogadishu and other regions of Somalia.

The impact of Somali women within the community and the importance for presenting the profile of the prominent influential Somali women was highly focused on during the Panel Discussion session. It was mentioned the Somali influential women will be role model for the other women in future.

A book written by Somali women in Somali language and placed in the Wikipedia was presented during the panel discussion event.

In conclusion, a baseline study on the working conditions of the Somali women journalists was presented during event by Ms. Farhia Khayre, Chairperson of the Somali Women Journalists.

The baseline study was developed by the Somali Women Journalists in joint cooperation with IMS/FOJO Media Program in Somalia.