MOGADISHU (SOMWA NEWS) – Female journalists face all forms and shapes of gender-related violence in their everyday job outside of collecting news information and online attacks, however, the situation of Kaltuun Mustaf a young women journalist who worked for different media outlets in Mogadishu and Baidoa is different.
Kaltuun, 24 years old, decided last week to leave a career that she loved so much after she experienced obstacles that she could not cross.
Speaking to SOMWA, Kaltuun said she was very disappointed to leave her journalism job after eight years of intimidation from bosses who do not respect her as a person and the work she does.
She also told SOMWA about an unequal opportunity in the newsroom while doing double the work of her male colleague. “Always it is the man who is in the managerial position and never for a female even when she has been in the industry over decades,” Kaltuun said.
One of the reasons that Kaltuun had to leave her work was not getting enough and on time salary. “My parents depend on me and I must work hard to pay the bills for my family the money they pay me is not enough when compared to that of my male fellow worker and for some months they do not even pay me, so how are we going to live,” said Kaltuun.
Kaltuun’s journey to her professional journalism.
When Kaltuun started her work as a journalist, she faced a lot of challenges from her family. She has been beaten and denied her career choice by her family but despite that, she insisted and continued her journalism work.
Now she told SOMWA that she is looking back at what her family said and considering that they might be right for not accepting her career choice in the first place.
Kaltuun said her decision to quit the journalistic field was not something that happened over night and she underlined that she has been thinking about it for a long time and at the same time was hoping that things will change, and she might continue her work.
She emphasized that it is not an easy decision to make. “It is painful to stop my work because I love it and I was dreaming that one day I will be working for the media giant companies like BBC and VOA but now that dream is shattered, and I have to do what is best for my family and my mental and well-being.”
When asked about what her plan is now, she told SOMWA that she is now looking for other jobs that do not involve journalism.
SOMWA’s views on Kaltuun’s decision
Maryan Seylac, the executive director of SOMWA, said it is not easy for someone to make such a decision to give up a work they love.
I am so sad to see the very talented and hard-working woman leaving her job, we need female journalists like Kaltuun in this media industry and it shows the level of pressure and gendered attack we face every day. Our male colleagues in the work-places should protect us and treat us equally but not abuse us. When I say ‘US’ I mean all female journalists are one regardless of their background. Nevertheless, I understand Kaltuun’s decision and wish her all the best in her future.