The INEC national commissioner ,Professor Antonia Taiye Simbine is calling on all media practitioners to give visibility to women ,so as to boost their participation in politics in the country .
She said the media should increase the reportage of women’s role ,and be strategic in seeking for more inclusion ,especially as the 2019 elections is approaching .
She made the disclosure at a training workshop for journalist on gender sensitive coverage in Lokoja ,Kogi state .
She further called on the media to engage in sensitization campaign that will encourage women to participate in politics.
“The media should show more respect to the sacredness of fact among women ,and encourage them to participate in campaign,and also vote during elections .
We should strive to improve Women’s participation in politics through media coverage ”
According to her ,the media should project the plight of women positively ,and not work against their interest .
She called on the journalists to utilize the social media to create awareness especially as the election is approaching next year .
“The current rise in the use of information technology ought to be harnessed positively to project the women folk ,and encourage synergy among them.
Speaking further ,she called on the media to help to promote the fundamental right of all Nigerians ,both male and female .
She stressed on the fact that equal participation of both male and female is a key principle of democracy ,and a major means of achieving the sustainable development goals .
In the same vein ,she said called on the leaders in the country ,to share power appropriately among male and female .
“The lack of visibility are factors discouraging the effective participation of women .
Men play politics as a course ,and it seems double standard is obtained for both male and female ”
“Goal number five of the SDG goal enjoins all,member states to provide leadership for women both in pubic and political climes .
Giving women opportunities is not a foreign thing ,and we should follow suit ”
In addition she called on the press to acquit themselves with political development ,
and show more commitment to the development of the Nigerian state .
While giving her opening remarks ,the CDD country director ,Idayat Hassan urged the media to make the 2019 elections successful ,by bringing burning issues to the fore .
She charged the media to give priority to women who are contesting for election positions ,and give them the necessary support .
The media need to deviate from painting women negatively ,and start portraying them in a positive limelight .
“As we draw close to the election next year ,it is very important for the media to engage in advocacy that will promote women’s inclusion in strategic leadership position”
“We have to start doing the right thing ,we need to change our way of thinking before the elections,so that the election coming up next year ,will have meaningful impact on women ”
In the same vein ,she said the issue of women’s inclusion should be given high priority .
“The issue of internal party democracy should be resolved appropriately, such that more women will be given the opportunity to engage in political office ”
The country director of CDD,further stressed the need to place gender issues on top priority, both before and after elections ,so as to increase women’s participation in election .
She explained that the media practitioner the specific duties that women need to play in the election
According to her ,the media need to address the issue of gender based violence ,and ensure that as the 2019 election is fast approaching,such scenarios do not occur .
The INEC representative in Kogi state ,Professor James Apam said there is need for the journalist to use the social media to promote women’s participation in politics .
He said the electoral commission is particular about women’s participation in politics in kogi state .
According to him ,there is need for the media to go beyond policy making ,and utilize the social media to ensure positive action.
In the same vein,he said the women should be factored in when there are political meetings ,and should not be marginalized,on the part that they have homes to maintain .
The Country representative of UNWomen, Comfort Lamptey who was represented by James Bigila ,
stressed on the need for media to play a bigger role in encouraging people’s awareness of gender equality and women’s political participation in Nigeria.
“The media should ensure gender equality, media play critical roles, such as increasing the public’s awareness on gender equality, bringing to fore the issue of low representation of women in politics ,and providing positive image of females and telling women’s stories in a better way”
“The media is regarded as the fourth level of development ,and ensures the integration of passing cogent messages around the world .
The media personnel are regarded as the true forces of nature,and play a catalytic role in development ”
The UN Women country representative ,also urged the media to work with women to improve the number of participation in the 2019 election.
“The media are meant to highlight ,the traditional role women plays ,and sensitize the public ,and telling stories in a positive way ,to create the necessary impact ”