The United Nations (UN) and the Women Radio (WFM 91.7) have urged media practitioners to redouble efforts in giving women equal access to the media like their male counterparts.
They made the call at a two-day training of political reporters on Positive Reportage of female candidates held in Abakaliki on Thursday.
The two day media training was in support by the United Nations Women and the Government of Canada.
Elizabeth Aboh, Communication Officer, Women Radio, said the essence of the program was to properly bridge the gap of the existing non inclusiveness of women in media reportage.
Aboh noted that women in politics and leaders did not receive adequate media coverage as their male counterparts across the country.
She stressed the need to always portray the women in a positive way in the daily media reports and urged the women not to be discouraged in taking their rightful position in the society.
Mrs Maureen Atuonwu, Facilitator, who spoke on “The RUSH Model and the 50:50 Strategy: An Inclusive, Responsive and Balanced Reporting ” highlighted the importance of fair and balanced reportage of women in politics.
Atuonwu, Zonal Manager of NAN, Enugu Zone, called for the need to apply the RUSH MODEL by the media at ensuring that the issues about female were well reported, during and after general elections.
According to her, RUSH means, Report Her Until Something Happens. Atuonwu noted that media, as unique tool in shaping public perception, had a bigger role in emphasizing gender-based political issues.
“The media should make participation of women in politics as an integral part of editorial agenda. Imbibe the spirit of gender equity and social inclusion,” she stated.
Mrs Esther Ijeaku, another Facilitator bemoaned the number of women in the National Assembly and other strategic positions in the country, urging the media to always encourage the women through reportage.
Ijeaku, Principal Consultant, Skill Hub Consulting, Abuja, who spoke on “Positive Portrayal of Women in Politics and Leadership Position by the Media” said the importance of women to societal development could be over-emphasized.
The Facilitator also spoke on, ” Best Practice of Reporting and Sustaining Visibility for Women by the Media” and tasked the media on fair reporting and balancing.
“The media should always try to focus on what is important and report her appropriately. Let the voice of the women be heard in positive ways,” she added.
A participant, Mrs Stella Egwu, Public Relation Officer, National Association of Persons’ with Physically Disabilities said the training was impactful.
Egwu pladged to make good use of what she has learnt and urged the organizer to make it a regular event.
Another participant, Nnamdi Akpa, commended the Women Radio for putting up the program for the media in Ebonyi.
Akpa urged for aggressive orientation of women folks on their participation in media engagement, especially in this political season.