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NGO tasks media professionals on responsive gender reportage

By Ruth Oketunde

The Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI), a non-profit organisation, has called on Nigerian journalists to take decisive commitment by being gender-responsive in their reportage.

Ms Adaora Onyechere, Executive Director, GSAI, made the call at a two-day capacity building workshop for reporters and editors of various media organisations on Thursday in Abuja.

The event has its theme as “Media Independence to Promote Women’s Economic Inclusion and Gender Accountability in Governance”.

The event also has the support of MacArthur Foundation and the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism.

Onyechere said the event, which is a ‘train the trainees’ workshop aimed at pushing for policies that affect women to be implemented and ensuring that the government were held accountable to gender issues.

“This training is put together to get the media to ask the right questions when it comes to gender inclusion and under this matter, we just launched our baseline report.

“Which revealed that statistics of women from 1999 till date, in governance, in politics and the way government has tailored their gender budget has totally been null and void.

“For a population that has over 49.2 per cent of women in population, being disenfranchised not only during politics and also in the economy, it is a serious problem.

“And there is a need for evaluating and looking at what government has done about that so far, which has become very important,” she said.

The executive director also added that the 35 per cent affirmative action must be taken seriously by government at all levels by ensuring that women are given appointive positions.

Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, Convener, Say No Campaign, said laws coming from the legislative chambers should be gender-driven and implementation must be adhered with.

“For appointive positions, there must be discretions. At that point, you have to be balanced and there should be no discrimination.

“Gender issues does not end with women alone, it is about boys, girls, women and men in a lens that ensures that everything is equitable and just.

“We are going to have conversations with political parties, to create more seats in parliaments.

“For instance, there should be certain seats that should be given to persons living with disabilities, women and marginalised groups,” he said.

A participant at the workshop, Ms Diana Omueza, a correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) appreciated the group for the training, adding that it had exposed her to be gender-sensitive in her reportage.

She called on her colleagues in the media to be responsible in their reportage, as they have the greatest responsibility to give marginalized groups a voice.

Another participant, Mr Emmanuel Ehijene, a reporter with Plus TV Africa, said the training had made him to understand the plights of the marginalised and he has learnt how to approach gender-based issues as he carries out his duties.(NAN)(

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa