Women in the media Sierra Leone WIMSAL is an association formed in November 2007 by a group of energetic young female journalists from both the print and electronic media to promote the interest of female journalists, female communication practitioners and women in all spheres of life in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
WIMSAL advocates for better conditions of service for female journalists and campaign for the rights of all women.
The organization also forms an important support network for female journalists, which is helpful to those who are new to the profession and those based rurally who can often feel isolated.
WIMSAL offers its members training and encouragement, in an industry where few opportunities for mentoring and training exist, and even fewer for women. As a group, WIMSAL has led strong campaigned with media leaders and government, raising issues that male journalists have often not even recognized.
One such issue is the perception that female journalists can only work on women’s issues, and not cover harder news, as they do in other countries. WIMSAL is campaigning to change this mind set and free up female journalists to perform equally with men.
WIMSAL has successfully funded itself from a range of sources, including Cordaid the largest INGO in the Netherlands.
Ever aware of the need to maintain a diverse funding mix, the organization has created it strategic plan to enable it to more easily and quickly compile to funding proposals and to respond to donor interest in aspects of its work, while at the same time remaining true to its strategic objectives.
WIMSAL is registered with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and is affiliated to the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).
The organization has a rapidly growing membership. It is now the most prominent women’s media network in Sierra Leone, being recognized as the organization representing female journalists.The organization has 200 members across the country.
In addition to its national structure, WIMSAL has Regional Chairpersons based in three locations: Northern Region (based in Makeni); Southern Region (based in Bo); and Eastern Region (based in Kenema), with Regional Focal Persons based in the extreme towns of Kailahun and Kono.
The current seven man executive is poised to embrace any opportunity that will enhance the capacity of its membership, in line with required deliverables.
PRESIDENT: Asmaa Angela James is an award winning female radio broadcaster with over 14 years of broadcast experience in post conflict Sierra Leone. Her passion and interests include upholding and promoting independent media platforms, creating safe spaces for diverse voices, positions and interests, with the aim of promoting an active citizenry, whilst strengthening democratic governance. She is currently Station Manager of Radio Democracy an independent and civil society owned radio station that promote the ideals of open and transparent governance and contributing to universal access to information in Sierra Leone. She is also an anchor and producer of one Sierra Leone’s premier radio shows – “Good Morning Sierra Leone” creating opportunities for diverse panelist, guests and citizens to discuss current affairs and issues ranging from human rights, security and Justice, public finance management, natural resource management and, governance in the quest to strengthen democratic and good governance. She previously served as Vice President of the Sierra Leone Reporters Union.
Vice President: Princess Gibson
Secretary General: Fatima Sesay
Ass Secretary General: Elizabeth Blango
Public Relations Officer: Stella Williams
Organising Secretary: Femi Coker
Financial Secretary: Kuria Mansaray
Northern Region Executive
Chairperson: Juliana Coker Vice Chairperson: Isatu I.B.S. Kamara
Secretary General: Henreitta Mansaray Asst. Secretary General: Esther Pearce
Public Relations Officer: Mariama M Kamara Organising Secretary: Fatmata Simbay
Financial Secretary: Helen Kamara
Southern Region Executive
Chairperson: Esther Kargbo Vice Chairperson: Isata Jalloh Sheriff
Secretary General: Kaday Turay Asst. Secretary General: Francess Kadie Lassayo
Public Relations Officer: Jannie Kamara Organising Secretary: Fatmata Grace Okekearu
Asst. Org. Secretary: Fanta Fofana Financial Secretary: Sukainatu Walters
Executive Chairperson: Elizabeth Jamie Bockarie Vice Chairperson: Hawa Georgette Tucker
Secretary General: Victoria Bernard Asst. Secretary General: Anthonette Mallo
Organising Secretary: Shallie Bangura