Together Against Discrimination: Discrimination and Harassment from a Psychological Perspective

July 6, 2021

Amman- 29 June 2021

The 5th session of the “Together Against Discrimination” virtual diploma addressed discrimination and crimes of sexual harassment in the workplace from a psycological health perspective, and how to develop an emotionally safe working environment.

The “Together Against Discrimination” training program extends over a period of 3 months, within the framework 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 session, held on 29 June 2021, was hosted by Dr. Khaled Nasser, a family communication consultant who specializes in trauma management. Mira Yassin, the “I Will Not Stay Silent” project manager, moderated it.

At the outset of the session, Nasser identified categories of discrimination  in the work environment, such as: gender, age, migrant workers, religious belief, ethnic minorities, and disability. He highlighted the psychological effects of discrimination and harrasment on mental and physical health, including  discomfort,, confusion, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological trauma.

Nasser presented advice on dealing with victims of discrimination and harassment, such as: listening and support, believing, respecting privacy, and encouragement. 

Discussing dealing with people suffering psychological trauma in general, Nasser stressed the importance of clarity, building a good relationship, and avoiding questioning when conducting interviews. He also emphasized the importance of self-care for journalists working with psychologically traumatized individuals, to avoid vicarious traumatization or feelings of trauma or despair.   

The “Together Against Discrimination” diploma is the first program of its kind in the region that focuses on equipping participants with theoretical and practical hands-on knowledge, designing and implementing effective internal complaints mechanisms against misuse of power in media institutions and working environments. These include fraud, corruption, harassment and hate speech, enabling   designated parties to best receive, respond, investigate and report any complaints.