“Together Against Discrimination” Diploma Program To Combat the Misuse of Power Launched Under the “I Will Not Stay Silent” Project

June 6, 2021

Amman- 1st June 2021

The first training session of the “Together Against Discrimination” virtual diploma program kicked off on 1 June with more than 20 journalists, content creators, and civil society activists from around the Arab world.

“Together Against Discrimination” is a 3 month-long virtual training program and the second component of the  “I Will Not Stay Silent” project launched by  ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project, Women in News / WAN-IFRA, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), and SAFE, IREX, and supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. The project aims at creating a safe, pluralistic, and diverse media working environment that is free of discrimination.

The first session, “How To Define the Misuse of Power,” was presented by ARIJ editor, Hoda Osman, and editor in chief, Munir Alkhatib,  “I Will Not Stay Silent” project manager Mira Yasin and political communication and gender lecturer Dr. Rouba El Helou.

The session entailed an open discussion on various forms of  discrimination and misuse of power in the workplace, such as fraud, corruption, sexism, and discrimination based on religions. Alkhatib pointed to the importance  of adopting effective codes of conduct within all institutions, regardless of their sizes, and reviewing them periodically.

Responding to a participant’s comment about the need to address the misuse of power on a national scale,  Hoda Osman pointed out that several approaches could be pursued in parallel, by forming advocacy fronts within institutions, and  lobbying to adopt effective laws to combat misuse of power at the state level.

Dr. Roba El Helou stressed the importance of having clear procedures within institutions to confront discrimination and misuse of power and the importance of forming a network of allies to enable taking collective steps.

It is noteworthy that “Together Against Discrimination” diploma is the first of its kind program in the region that focuses on equipping participants with theoretical and practical hands-on knowledge to design and implement effective internal complaints mechanisms against various forms of misuse of authority in media institutions and general media working environments, such as fraud, corruption, harassment and hate speech, to permit stakeholders to best receive, respond, investigate and report any form of alleged complaints.