Eswatini: ICJ and partner organization launch guide to reporting gender-based violence for journalists

To assist in efforts to combat gender-based violence, the ICJ and Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) collaborated to create a guide on reporting gender-based violence for media practitioners in Eswatini.

The guide, designed by SWAGA, was launched on 2 October 2020 in a webinar attended by media practitioners from Eswatini.

Media practitioner, lecturer and trainer Pontsho Pilane gave an introduction to and answered questions about reporting gender-based violence. Her own interests include the intersection between health, race and gender.

Pilane said it was important for journalists to find different ways of presenting accounts in ways that are empowering to survivors and to readers and uphold the dignity of the most important people in the story: the survivors.

In her address, Pilane also highlighted the need for “solutions-based journalism” or reporting that focuses on adequate responses to social issues in addition to describing the problems themselves.

“Supporting survivors is crucial, as well as including things like how a survivor can find help and move forward from experiences with SGBV in our reporting,” she said.

It is also important to connect readers and survivors to NGOs like Swagaa who have the necessary tools to assist them.

In an effort to combat the various challenges presented by SGBV, the Kingdom of Eswatini introduced the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act in 2018.

Executive director of Swagaa Nonhlanhla Dlamini said the journey to enacting the SODV Act was a consultative one and that she was impressed with efforts by journalists in reporting on the Act.

“We hope that this manual will help journalists to improve their reporting on gender-based violence,” Dlamini said.

The Guide is intended as a valuable tool and resource as editors and journalists in Eswatini in supporting their collective efforts to contribute towards reporting which is respectful of survivors of gender-based violence, consistent with the law and contributes to ensuring a non-discriminatory public discourse on gender-based violence in Eswatini.

Read this guide with the ICJ Practitioner’s Guide No. 12 on Women’s Access to Justice for Gender-Based Violence and the ICJ Access to Justice: Challenges Faced by Victims and Survivors of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Eswatini report.


South Africa – Reporting GBV Guide – 2020 – ENG (full paper in PDF)


Shaazia Ebrahim (ICJ media officer), c: +27716706719 e: shaazia.ebrahim(a)

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