…advocates favourable laws, others for increase women participation in Politics

By Adebayo Adenrele

A former Commissioner of Women Affairs in Ekiti State and gender rights advocate, Fola Richie-Adewusi has called on Journalists in the state to shun biases, balance their reportage of female political candidates and report them in the positive light as it is being done to their male counterparts.

Adewusi described journalists as opinion moulders and agenda setters who can change the stereotype perception of women and transform them to partners in nation building.

Adewusi said this at a 2-day Media Training for Political Reporters in Ado-Ekiti, organised by Women Radio 91.7 with the support of Government of Canada and UN WOMEN.

She solicited for inclusiveness and visibility of women in media programs.

She added that equity in sharing of opportunities would project women and enable them to be relevant in the society, rather “than being seen, not heard.”

She equally noted that women are not meant to be sidelined in any sphere of activities because they also have capacities and capabilities as the male counterparts.

“Media has to change some of the stereotypes they use in presenting women because Journalists are Opinion Moulders, People listen to them.

“The ideas of that they are not knowledgeable about some of those biases are not tenable, i believe that they can change the way they report women and they can also pay attention by presenting a balanced report, by giving equal opportunities to men and women everytime they are thinking of news Production, vox Pop, investigation of a particular issue and presentation of programme.

“Journalists should begin to look out form more women, people who are marginalised, people with disabilities and young people so that they can have a balanced report all the time.

“There should be equity and inclusiveness in sharing opportunities.

“We should change the orientation that women are not supposed to do some certain things, they have to be supported and encouraged.”

She also highlighted factors militating against women consideration to include repressive Laws, institutional barriers, discriminatory cultural practices, disproportionately low access to good healthcare, education, resources and media exposure.

On her part, the Vice President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), B-Zone, Ronke Samo urged the Journalists and Citizens to look beyond their gender but place premium on their capabilities.

“Everyone should look beyond their gender but focus on their capabilities.”

“Women should be reported, not because of their connections with the media but, according to their efforts to make things better for the citizens.”

While speaking on roles played by Journalists, she advocated constant women reportage, regardless of their relationship with them so that their voices can also be heard.

On how to increase women participation in politics, Samo advocated institutional change, favourable laws, sustained women reportage by the media, building of self-esteem, confidence and erasure of gender stereotypes.

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