Marie- Annick Savripène

Marie- Annick Savripène

Date: March 8, 2011
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To know others and thyself and continue to grow

Had I not known Loga Virahsawmy, the Gender Links francophone office director, I would not have been able to get to know this organisation as much as I do now and to work for this avant-garde NGO.

I always had a feminine consciousness. Being brought up by a grandmother and two aunts, how could it be otherwise? So it was natural that as a journalist, I regularly sought women’s points of view. But if I could not find a woman to speak, it would not be the end of the world.

Meeting Loga and getting to know more about gender and Gender Links has made me realise how a woman’s missing voice in an article makes the whole difference in a story because she represents half of the population of a country and has aspirations and dreams than concern the development of the country and not just her own basic needs.

I did start to work for Gender Links on specific contracts and it was always rewarding to travel and to get to know journalists from different francophone countries and do training with them. But I really got to know about Colleen Lowe-Morna’s vision when I worked for Gender Links for a year on a full time basis in 2009. I have realised that to change the mentality of society about gender equality, working with the media is not enough and that we have to go further, that is in the training of the future journalists and work also with civil society to make governments move.

This whole year was very enriching because we would go to francophone countries of SADC and get to know people in the media, learn about their realities, work with them and train them on gender issues and policies. But it also made me grow by imparting speaking skills. I have always been a writing person. Being the daughter of a musician, I could sing in front of a crowd. But I hated having to do speeches in front of a group.

With Gender Links, I had to do so. If at the beginning, it was very difficult for me – I would quickly go to the essentials – I have managed to overcome my complex and do training with the help of Loga.

This has helped me in my job of journalist too because and last year I found myself talking to a class of students about a career in journalism and answering their questions without hesitation. This would have been incredible a few years back. These speaking and interacting skills have also helped me as editor in chief of Energie, the health and wellbeing magazine of La Sentinelle Ltée in Mauritius, and I have no problem managing a team of journalists and collaborators.

Working with Gender Links has also made me understand myself, that is, that I am profoundly a media person and that is where I should be. It is true that I had been a journalist for 20 years but it is only when I worked full time with Gender Links that I have fully realised that media is my world.

For all I have received and am still receiving from Gender Links, I want to say a big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.



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