UN chief urges Nigerian media to champion women’s rights and gender equality
The Nigerian media have been called upon to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality issues through editorials, reports and press articles.
Beatrice Eyongthe UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made the call during a National Media Leaders Dialogue on Gender Sensitive Reporting on Thursday in Lagos.
The event was organized by UN Women and Women Radio, with support from the Canadian government.
Ms. Eyong said the media should ensure the production of high-quality stories focusing on gender equality and women’s rights, with a minimum of two per month.
“The media should ensure the inclusion of women as sources in the stories produced, aiming for gender parity, including in various fields such as business, technology, science and engineering.
“Through gender-responsive decision-making, enable equality in newsrooms by ensuring that female journalists have the same opportunities as their male colleagues and can cover a variety of topics ranging from politics to business to through science, sport and technology, while encouraging male journalists to also cover various issues, including women’s rights and gender equality stories.
For her part, Ms. Eyong said UN Women would support the Nigerian media by building the capacity of journalists and media practitioners, as well as establishing an annual media award for gender-sensitive reporting.
Ms. Eyong also said the UN agency also offers biannual media coordination meetings on gender reporting and supports the exchange and lessons learned program in the region.
According to a study by the International Press Center (IPC), Nigerian media have disproportionately portrayed women’s issues in their coverage, compared to men.
For example, the IPC monitored 30 national newspapers between November 2014 and March 2015. Of 13,449 political sources cited in the newspapers, 12,777 (95%) were men while 672 (5%) were women.
“The trend of gender reporting in 2018/2019 was not noticeably different from that of 2014/2015 based on the results of the performance scorecard against women,” said Lanre Arogundade, executive director of the ‘CPI.
“This meant that women’s voices were stifled in the political discourse leading up to and transcending the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
“It was particularly unjustifiable because there was a female presidential candidate, a gubernatorial candidate, and other contenders for national and state assemblies.”
Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director of the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), and Women Radio, have asked to partner with UN Women to implement the ReportWomen Awards.
“The intervention is designed as an engagement with the overall objective of recognize and reward media organizations and individuals who provide intentional and nuanced coverage of girls’ and women’s issues,” Ms. Alaka said.
Ms Alaka said the award aims to recognize and recognize media organizations that speak out against women.
“We will openly celebrate media outlets that give prominence on their platforms to women’s issues and those that intentionally expose women to redress gender inequality in Nigeria.”
Support the integrity and credibility journalism of PREMIUM TIMES
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy and a transparent government.
For free and continued access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider providing modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you help sustain relevant journalism and keep it free and accessible to everyone.
Make a donation
ANNOUNCEMENT TEXT: Call Willie – +2348098788999