UN Women tasks media on promoting Nigeria’s women political participation, empowerment

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By Justina Auta

UN Women, on Wednesday tasked media practitioners and organisations to empower the female gender and promote its participation in politics.

They made the call at the 2024 UN Women Nigeria Media Forum on “Escalating Media Action for Women’s Empowerment” in Abuja.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the call was necessary to reverse the poor representation of women in both elective and appointed positions in the country.

Eyong, who noted the pivotal role the media plays in instilling change in the society, said it was fundamental for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

According to her, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President have shown commitment towards promoting women’s political participation, hence the media should play the role in championing the cause.

“The representation of women in Nigeria’s parliament, these are challenges that we must all join hands together to surmount.

“The question is how much is being done by the media to advocate women’s economic empowerment? women’s representation in appointed and elected positions in Nigeria?

“What can the media do differently to improve the chances of more women joining politics and winning in the next elections?

“These challenges we must all respond to as women and gender champions in the media sector.

“I hope that in this meeting, we will renew our commitments to use the media as a tool to promote women’s political and economic empowerment and advocate for gender responsive governance”.

Eyong also stressed the need to change the mindsets of communities, where gender inequalities and women’s voices are subdued, as well as ensured that the rights and aspirations of women were not violated.

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Also, Mr Zephaniah Aura, Programmes Specialist, Governance & Participation in Public Life (GPPL), UN Women, reiterated their commitment towards investing in the empowerment of women and girls in Nigeria.

Aura, also urged the media to amplify women’s voices ahead of the 2027 election to improve their participation in politics.

Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), said amplifying women’s voices in the media landscape required more dedication and commitment from all stakeholders, particularly the media.

Arogundade, therefore, urged the media to continue to highlight issues affecting women on their media platforms, to bring about the desired change targeted at gender equality, women empowerment and political representation.

Meanwhile, Hadiza Abdrahman, a participant and Gender Reporter, Radio Nigeria, reiterated her commitment towards highlighting issues affecting women and girls, especially at the grassroots level.

Similarly, Deborah Ocheni, Gender reporter with New Telegraph Newspaper, urged female politicians to be more vocal and avail themselves to the media for interviews that would further improve their political career.

Other activities of the day include a panel session on, “The road to the 2027 general elections: improving women’s representation through media interventions.” (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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