Toronto, Canada – Wednesday, October 20 2021
Kenyan Canadian Association (KCA) hosted it’s fourth webinar on October 16, 2021 which focused on ways the Media can help to prevent Gender-based Violence (GBV). The webinar was part of a high-impact series supported through funding by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Safer + Stronger COVID-19 Emergency Grants.
The webinar featured a group of industry experts engaging in a conversation about what can be done to create media spaces that move away from the stereotypes that reinforce gender inequality and GBV in television, film, print, and social media.
The Liberal Member of Parliament for North Brampton and champion for diversity, inclusion and gender equality, Hon. Ruby Sahota attended the webinar as the special guest speaker. The panelists included Patricia Bebia Mawa, Executive Vice President of Silver Trust Media; Debbie Nicholls-Skerrit, a Creative & Holistic Wellness Professional & Artist; Simone Jennifer Smith, Chief Reporter & Operations Manager of Toronto Caribbean Newspaper and Trician-Renée Edwards, founder of The Love & Light Collective & Love, Light & Learn TV. It was hosted by Sanjit Kaur, KCA’s Women and Gender Affairs Director, with introductory remarks from KCA’s Board Secretary and Director of Newcomers & Settlement, Catherine Matimu.
The webinar featured media and entertainment leaders who addressed the effects of media on gender-based violence. They also offered solutions about the work currently being done in our communities to foster better programing, reporting, and media that works to change damaging narratives about women and gender.
Hon. Sahota discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the increased rates of gender-based violence. As well, she pointed the audience to government funded services available in the community.
To open the panel discussion, media mogul Patrcia Bebia Mawa of AfroGlobal TV and Silvertrust Media spoke in depth about the influence that mainstream media has in shaping conversations about violence against women. She highlighted the need to have more female representation in all aspects of the media industry. She also spoke about the steps that media can take to prevent stigma against survivors of GBV and breakdown the negative portrayals that lead to GBV in the first place. She stated that correct language and expert guidance should be used to accurately tell the stories of those effected by gender-based violence.
The next panelist was Debbie Nicholls-Skerrit, a trained performing artist and wellness professional, who spoke about different approaches and alternative holistic healing modalities that can be undertaken to address and heal the trauma of gender-based violence.
Simone Jennifer Smith, Chief Reporter at Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, further called on the media to educate communities on the realities of gender-based violence as a means of offering meaningful support and an end to this silent epidemic. “We as media need to make sure we're educating people, [in my work] I definitely focus on educating the community on what gender-based violence actually is, how it looks, how it can present.”
Trician-Renée Edwards, founder of The Love & Light Collective & Love, Light & Learn TV, an online children’s educational program, spoke about the effects of social media on young women and girls and how this often makes them vulnerable to cyberbully and cyber stalking online which can lead to gender-based violence offline. She spoke about the necessity to bridge the gap between fast paced information sharing online, and the need for engaging children in social media literacy and self-esteem building.
The webinar provided an informative and inclusive space to discuss GBV in Canadian media while informing the audience there is work being done to build a world without gender-based violence.
Join us for future webinars in this series:
5: Gender Equality & UN Women HeForShe - November 6th, 2021
We have also listed some of the resources shared in the webinar:
- Assaulted Women’s Help Line: 416-863-0511
- Hope 24/7: Crisis line: 1-800-810-0180
- Sakeenah Homes: Transitional shelters for Muslim women and children: 1-888-671-3446
- ResQ Youth: www.resqyouth.com
- Roots Community Services: www.rootscs.org
- Canada’s Centre of Digital and Media Literacy: www.mediasmarts.ca
- The Love and Light Collective: www.theloveandlightcollective.ca/our-videos/