Media professionals have been advised to adopt balanced reportage by increasing the visibility of women in the political space to ensure equal representation of their perspectives and to address political violence against women.
This was part of the resolutions reached in Abuja at a Capacity-Building Training on preventing and responding to violence against women, organised by a non-governmental Organisation, Women’s Situation Room Nigeria, in collaboration with UN-women and the Government of Canada.
Research reveals that the media has a strong role in perpetuating discriminatory gender norms and stereotypes as well as the normalization of violence, especially against women, through their coverage and reportage.
It has thus become important to build the capacity of media professionals to be gender sensitive by strengthening their awareness and understanding of issues of gender equality, gender-based violence, especially violence against women, in politics.
The assistant programme manager, Women’s Situation Room Nigeria, Jane Siesi, said it was critical to enlighten the media on what constitute violence and how to prevent it in their work.
“There are violence in terms of when you report, in terms of coverage, especially when you give a title to a man, and because she is a woman, you don’t give her the same title,” Ms Siesi explained.
“When you interview some of these survivors, how best do you interact with them? Are you leaving them worse than you met them or are you leaving them better?” she inquired.
On her part, the workshop facilitator, Esther Ijeaku insisted that it was fundamental for media professionals to be adequately aware of the gender inequalities that exist and be sensitive to them while producing content to ensure equal representation women.
Some media participants spoke on the impact of the training and how it had broadened their views on the different ways to represent women in their stories to give them a voice.
The training also focused on measure the media should adopt to report on gender issues especially in the fourth coming 2023 election to effectively represent the contribution and participation of women in the political process.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani; editing by Abdullahi Lamino