The CEO of Women Radio, Toun Sonaiya, has said that female politicians and leaders are not given adequate media coverage as their male counterparts in the country.
Speaking at a two-day media training for political reporters organized by the Women Radio with support from United Nations Women and the Government of Canada held in Ilorin, on Thursday, Ms Sonaiya said lack of media coverage is hampering their socio-political progress.
Ms Sonaiya, who spoke on the topic, “The 50:50 Strategy: An Inclusive, Responsive and Balanced Reporting” highlighted the importance of fair and balanced reportage of women in politics especially as the country draws nearer to the 2023 elections.
She said, “the media remains a powerful tool in shaping public perception and has a bigger role in emphasising gender-based political issues and as such participation of women in politics through the media should be an integral part of editorials and features” .
Ms Sonaiya further emphasised on the need for the powerful Nigerian media to “embrace and practice gender equity and social inclusion for a sustainable media environment”.
Participants include journalists with disabilities from print, radio, television and digital media.
In his lecture, a media expert and CEO of MODISULT Media Concept, Abdulazeez Arowona, noted that women are key players in the society either as mothers, wives and daughters in their homes.
Citing reasons why women should be supported for political offices, Mr Arowona said women were honest, trustworthy, authentic, supportive and empathetic.
“Such are the attribute of good leaders who should hold political offices and can deliver good governance to the masses,” he said.
In her presentation, Binta Mora, explained gender disparity, as women are disadvantage in access to resources in comparison to men.
Ms Mora charged media to encourage women with positive reportage, even as 2023 elections draw close.
According to her, “As of October 2017, out of 193 UN countries, 11 had a woman serving as head of state and 12 had a woman as head of government. Only Nordic countries are close to equal representation within parliaments with women making up to 41 per cent of their single-house parliament.
“Current trend in Nigerian politics shows that men are dominating the place of authority, with women relegated to the background. We need to make a difference by supporting women both from men and women,” he said.
The founder of Women Communications Centre, an Ilorin-based Non-Governmental Organization, Nimota Giwa, said women are part of the struggles in the society in terms of pursuing Sustainable Development Goals and are making positive impact in the society.
She thanked the organisers for the deep thoughts and commitments towards ensuring that the voice of women can be heard as well as projecting images of women in leadership positions in Nigeria.