WIPF seeks media reportage of women participation in politics

WIPF seeks media reportage of women participation in politics

Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) has charged the media on positive reportage of women in politics, stressing that this will encourage more participation as well as amplify their voices on burning issues across the country.

National President of the WIPF, Barr. Ebere Ifendu, gave the charge on Monday in her address at a two-day training organised by the forum with support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), UKaid and the USAID for the media tagged “Preparing Journalists to promote women political participation, held in Calabar,  Cross River state.

Ifendu noted that women are generally underreported in the media.

She called on the media to give equal opportunity to women as media sources on all issues and not only stereotypical questions that does not allow them talk about issues happening in the country.

“We want the media to allow women talk about issues such as politics,  the economy, health, education because these issues affect them too. We don’t to be see as only fashion icons, we are politicians too.

“The portrayal of women in Politics in the media has not given us the necessary landmark due to the petty questions the media want them to respond to and we are also politicians, meanwhile the media do not ask men such petty questions about their private and family lives,” she lamented.

She said women will no longer continue to pamper bad leadership as the effects are more on the women, noting that women turned the story in the just concluded Osun State elections as the highest number of voters.

She therefore, appealed to the media to give women the necessary visibility especially with the upcoming 2023 presidential election so that women can be part of the decision on choice of leaders at various levels.

Earlier in his remarks,  the Chief of Party, National Demographic Institute (NDI) Dr. Stephen Snook, emphasised the need for women to exercise their franchise, expressing worry on the increase in hate speech on women politicians which he said was a major  contributing factor to the low political participation of women.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Women Radio 91.7 Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, lamented that the media is worse on women inclusion due to the ownership of media houses and patriarchal nature of Nigeria.

Sonaiya tasked media to do more analysis of the Osun Governorship election from a gender perspective in order to make people understand the narratives especially as the nation approach 2023 general elections.

Meanwhile, a faculty member during the training  Mr. Austin Aigbe, in a paper presentation titled “Gendered Disinformation in Nigeria: Role of Media” stated that disinformation is a threat to women women political participation, urging the media to always do fact checking before disseminating information.

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