British Diplomat Tasks Journalists on Gender Equality Reporting
As the International Women’s Day (IWD) is being commemorated across the world, the Political Councilor to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Dominic Williams, has urged young journalists to change the narrative of how women are portrayed in the media.
Williams, made the call on Saturday, during the second ‘International Youth Media Day’ (IYMD), in Abuja.
He noted that the media is also a major stakeholder on the issue of gender equality, because of its overwhelming influence on the society, and sacred function of transmitting values from one generation to another.
He urged the Nigerian media not to key into the negative stereotypical portrayal of women in the society, saying they should be balanced in their reportage of gender-related issues.
The aide to the British High Commissioner, said both men and women must stand up and stubbornly advocate for gender equality and fairness.
This, he said, will help in tackling the menace of gender bias and inequality.
At the event, which was also aimed at promoting the use of the media as a veritable tool to project equality and highlight the importance of women in the society, Williams, said individuals should start having a new conviction and start believing in equal rights for women, as they are valuable assets to any society.
He said, “women should recognize their rights and should not exhibit inferiority complex. The media should also endeavor to project women in good light and by so doing, women will serve as a helping hand in nation building. It should start by giving women in media equal opportunities as men.”
An educationist, Irene Joy, while giving a remark at the event, emphasized the need for women to be given quality education, saying sound education will enable women and young girls to realize their dreams.
She called for an increased participation of Nigerian women in the media space, so that women themselves can shape their own narrative.
“Women must take that responsibility of shaping their own story, rather than allowing others to do so on their behalf,” said Joy.
In his brief talk, a gender advocate, Mrs. Ene Nde, maintained that gender stereotype in the media is dangerous than other forms of stereotype in the society.
“Women in the media are highly underrated in this part of the world. But I can tell you for free that there is no limit to what a woman can do. The media is a super structure that can promote women’s capabilities,” she said.
The Convener of the event, Ovinuchi Ejiohuo, said there is every need to celebrate Nigerian women; mothers, sisters, wives and friends, especially those using the media to fight for women’s rights and humanity in general.
The event also featured a film screening that portrayed women’s strength and gender representation in the society.
There was also a musical presentation and photo exhibition.
The IYMD is a global event designed to celebrate the achievements of youths in various genre of arts such as film, photography, spoken word and screening of the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) works, across borders.
The 15th IYMS will take place in Croatia this year, with the Croatian Film Association as the host.