Butterfly effect … Reporting Women

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Thursday 13 October 2016
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Journalists participating in the Reporting Women course in Amman, Jordan / September 2016.

By Abeer Hassan

Landing in Amman, Jordan to attend to my duties as co-trainer on the Women Reporting Course, I had in my ears this iconic quote from Little Women:

“I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected. To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send.”

And the pressing question for me was how reporting women can support this dream of many women in the region, of a better life for their daughters.

The participants came together from different countries and backgrounds. Heba Kandil and I decided to start off the dynamic course by inviting guest speaker who would inspire participants to cover more positive stories on women.

Social Entrepreneur Dr. Rana Dejani is known as the woman with 5 hats on and famous for her golden quote about the butterfly effect,

“Everywhere around us there are things that are wrong that bother us. We say to ourselves how can I make a difference? We should believe in ourselves, and take action to make a difference to make the world a better place. A small action can and will make a huge difference just like the butterfly effect.”

The seven participants were hooked on from the start and we proceeded to train them on good feature writing, interviewing sensitively and reporting on women. I discussed with them how social media is a double-edged sword and we really had a very interactive discussion on how to make the best of social media and mitigate its risks.

In the field visit we heard the voice of a young woman who decided to speak up and stand up against her aggressor. It was tough but only made the participants more determined to explore further, report women and create a butterfly effect.

After a very interesting and intensive course, the participants came up with seven significant women’s issues in the region and started the first step on the road to explore further and report in a feature.  Thomson Reuters Foundation in their keenness on sustainability will provide mentorship and I trust that soon we will see a huge difference from these features.

Landing in Cairo, Egypt after this busy week I had in my ears this iconic quote from a Tale of Two Cities

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.”