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16.12.2004 Regional News

Be assertive - Women journalists told

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Accra, Dec. 16, GNA - African women journalists should be assertive despite their cultural setting and upbringing. Ms Jerusha Arothe-Vaughan, Director of Human Resource of the Independent Communications Associates Limited, said at a three-day workshop for women journalists that they should, however, avoid being aggressive.

The workshop was organized by the International Women's Media Foundation to educate African women journalists on leadership roles, stress management and effective reporting on HIV/AIDS, among other topics.

The day's workshop dubbed: "Carole Simpson Leadership Training Institute Workshop" brings together about 26 women journalists from Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Ghana.

Ms Arothe-Vaughan said, "In order to avoid aggressive behaviour, it is essential to balance rights with the responsibilities that go with them. You have a dual responsibility in terms of assertiveness." She said assertive behaviour involved being clear about the rights for yourself and respecting the right of others. She noted that most African women were not used to stating their views due to some cultural and traditional practices.

"There is a danger that women in most organizations bottle up their anger and are likely to fly off the handle at some small problem ... Such behaviours affect a lot of people in organizations". Ms Arothe-Vaughan noted that societal expectations and stereotype messages retrained most women from behaving assertively.

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