Biden Admin Shelled Out Thousands To Close The ‘Gender Gap’ Among Journalists… In Somalia

(Photo credit should read ABDIRAZAK HUSSEIN FARAH/AFP via Getty Images)

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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Biden’s State Department is spending thousands to address gender inequality in the Somali media industry by providing training to female journalists.

The State Department is paying $22,800 to the Somali Women Journalists Organization (SWJO) to help close “the gender gap in Somalia’s media industry” by providing video editing and graphic design training to 20 female journalists in Mogadishu, according to a federal spending database. Social media posts from SWJO show female Somali journalists learning how to use Photoshop and other content-creation software.

“Increasing women’s voices in media—including in urban centers where digital media is prevalent—is an important tool in exposing al-Shabaab’s abuses and criminal activity,” a State Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Al-Shabaab is an Islamic terror organization operating in Somalia.

SWJO’s website says that it is training female journalists as a way to contribute to peace and security in Somalia. (RELATED: Biden State Dept Shells Out Thousands To ‘Empower’ Women In Yemen With Tech As Rebels Launch Rockets From Country)

The grant was part of a government program intended to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals, advance America’s national interests and bolster national security, according to a federal spending database.

The State Department spokesperson told the DCNF that the department promotes “a wide range of strategic programs that promote respect for human rights,” including “programs that support the rights and empowerment of women and girls.”

SWJO says it is “determined to address the gender gap in Somalia’s media industry” by “empowering female journalists” with the necessary skills for “advocating their rights for equality and equitable pay.”

The training, which will serve 20 female journalists, is expected to cost roughly $1,140 per woman. The gross national income per capita in Somalia, or the total wages earned by Somalis divided by the number of people in the country, was $600 in 2022, according to the World Bank.

A Somali government soldier views the dead bodies of suspected al-Shabaab militant fighters killed in a suicide bomb attack outside Nasahablood hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

 A Somali government soldier views the dead bodies of suspected al-Shabaab militant fighters (REUTERS/Feisal Omar)

It is unclear how far reaching the impact of America’s spending on digital media Somalia will be given the conditions in the country.

Less than half of Somalis had access to electricity as of 2022, according to the World Bank. Moreover, only 2% of Somalis had internet access as of 2017, per the World Bank.

Somalia has other pressing issues besides gender inequality in its media industry.

Only 52% of Somalis have access to a basic water supply, according to UNICEF. More than 3 million people in Somalia struggle with food access, according to the British Red Cross.

The State Department has funded several other female journalism initiatives in developing countries in recent years.

The department paid $53,768 to “empower” female journalists in Gaza to “write about gender issues” in September 2022 and about $31,000 in 2021 with the aim of “building institutional democracy” in Ethiopia by “empowering female journalists,” according to a government spending database.

SWJO did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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