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INEC, others task media on gender political reporting

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has tasked media practitioners on the need to take conscious steps in mainstreaming gender in reporting electoral processes of the 2019 general elections.
   
Deputy Director, Gender Division of INEC, Mrs. Blessing Obidegwu, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at a seminar organised by the commission with support of United Nations Women on media and gender sensitive reporting in elections, said male counterparts had enjoyed more publicity from the media at the detriment of female candidates who sometimes get displaced for lack of adequate exposure. 
   
According to her, “media marginalisation against women in terms of electoral reporting reinforces gender imbalance on politics as women are denied sufficient space in the media to project themselves to the electorate.”
 


Also, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, encouraged political gladiators to ensure all electioneering campaigns are issues-based, saying: “Politicians should shun all acts of violence and hate-speeches during this period and discourage vote-buying in all ramifications to ensure the credibility of the 2019 general elections.”
 
Representative of UN Women, Mr. Desmond Osemhenjie, stressed that Nigeria had only six per cent of women elected into political offices, making it the lowest on the continent, which significantly undermines the country’s democratic growth and aspirations.

He said all hands must be on deck to overturn this bleak outlook. 
   
In the same vein, Director, International Press Centre (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said it was disheartening that women were under-represented and rarely feature in media reporting of electoral issues and elections despite that they constitute the majority of the population.

He said: “Female politicians, especially candidates, are often less projected in the media when compared with their male counterparts, thus being denied of the right of equitable access to the media during electioneering.”

President, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs. Ifetinwa Omowole, stressed the need to report women as development issues, adding: “I urge us to project women in good light because they are representatives of many generations.
   
She, however, advised that women must make themselves relevant as we move into the New Year.
Meanwhile, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, has urged women in politics to take realistic steps and realistic demands.


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