Journalists urged to pay attention on gender-based reporting
• Movies producers warn of SGBV consequences to economic growth
Worried about the growing rate of gender-based violence, stakeholders, comprising university lecturers, journalists and civil society, rose from a two-day workshop in Owerri, Imo State, calling for more proactive steps towards tackling the problem, especially, Violence Against Women (VAW) in the country.
In the event organised by the Media and Gender Enlightenment Initiative (MEGEIN), in collaboration with the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), the Project Director of MEGEIN and Associate Professor of Mass Communication in Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Nkem Fab-Ukozor, lamented that the incidence of VAW was on the increase in Nigeria despite efforts to tackle it.
Ukozor called on all, especially journalists, to observe necessary rules, ethics and professional reporting standards to create awareness that will end violence against women.
In their papers, the Project Manager of MEGEIN, Dr. Alex Onyebuchi; the Head of Department of Mass Communication (IMSU), Dr. Kingsley O. Nworgu and some other lecturers from the department, Dr. Cajetan Iheanacho, Dr. Adline Nkwam-Uwaoma, Dr. Ifeoma Orjiajor (Project Secretary), they urged journalists to increase their level of sensitisation and awareness.
According to them, concerted efforts should be made by the journalists to follow up stories from their breaking point to their logical conclusions.
They noted that since men are dominating the field, adequate coverage should be done to protect women.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the creative industry have equally warned the government of the consequences of an increasing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) nationwide.
The creatives, who spoke at an event to mark 16 days of activism and the screening of Zubaida, blamed the slow economic development in the country on the exclusion of women from societal development.
They urged the Federal Government to rally around stakeholders and donors that can fund actions to address SGBV in the country.
Director of Zubiada, Uduak Etukudo, while identifying movies as an important factor in the advocacy for an end to SGBV in Nigeria, stressed the need to scale up community education and awareness, as well as ensure that women networks play key roles in community awareness and sensitisation.
According to Etukudo, the government must address structural causes, as well as the risk and protective factors, associated with violence, to eliminate violence against women and girls completely, adding: “It is expedient that government and other critical actors address the gendered dynamics of violence in both the public and private spheres, and recognise its links to gender inequality, discrimination and unequal power relations in many different areas of women’s lives.
“We are advocating to ensure that women are given equal right and treated as humans especially children because the girl child needs more attention and we want to make the world see what Gender-Based Violence (GBV) affect women, both physical and psychological.
“Most of the people affected by GBV are usually women and if we don’t have the females competing on the same stage with males, it hampers the growth of the economy because all hands are supposed to be on deck to enhance economic growth and key players because there are NGOs that can be supported with more funds to take advocacy to grassroots.”