UN Women seek robust media partnership on gender issues
– CDD Canvasses Removal Of Barriers Limiting Women In Politics
County representative of the United Nations Women and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Nigeria, Comfort Lamptey has called on the media to collaborate with UN agency to positively promote its activities, educating Nigerians on progress and challenges of women, as the world marked the International Women’s Day (IWD).
Speaking to a cross-section of journalists at an interactive media session in Abuja, Lamptey described the media as one of the strongest tools in creating change in perceptions, especially as the agency seeks to leverage this year’s theme: ‘Generation Equality’ to foster interaction between the young and older generations of women in advancing women’s rights.
According to her, people often misunderstand or even misrepresent the UN Women’s work because they do not understand the agency’s concept and intentions, which is why the media is important in enlightening Nigerians in this regard, as well as in creating and understanding the theme ‘Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future.’
She said: “When you work for UN Women, you work to advance gender equality; you are working to make a change. So, whatever we do, change is at the heart of it. To achieve this, we have to have allies and I know that the media is one of the strongest tools to support changes in attitude and perceptions…”
She said for Nigeria to meet the Social Development Goals (SDGs), it must change the way things are done, which is why they are supporting the Federal Government, as the world marked 25 years of the Beijing platform of action.
UN Women programme analyst, women, peace and security, Elise Dietrichson said the 12 critical areas of the Beijing platform are key to ensuring gender equality in Nigeria, especially as women make up a large number of the country’s population.
The 12 areas include access to formal education, violence against women and girls, women and armed conflict, security, women and economy, and women in government, power, and decision-making.
Others include institutional mechanisms, women and human rights, women and the media, women and the environment, women, and health and the girl-child.
In a related development, the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an Abuja-based Think-Tank with focus on deepening democracy and development in West Africa, Idayat Hassan, has asked the menfolk to remove barriers that limit women in politics.
Speaking in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, she said the country should do the needful to carry women along in decision-making.
She also canvassed passage of the affirmative action by having it entrenched in the Constitution and in political parties’ manifestoes.
She said: “When half of the women are out of the entire process, then development becomes very impossible. Also, as it is now, we ourselves have to work towards raising the aspiration of girls and parents. We have to change how people think about girls, the family and how society actually imagines the girl child to be…”.