Abuja, April 10, 2019 (NAN) Mrs Eugenia Abu, former Executive Director of Programmes, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has appealed to government and media organisations to make conscious efforts for women to attain leadership positions.
Abu made the appeal during an in-house training for the editorial staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, in the nation’s capital..
The training was organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).
The training was tagged ‘House to House chat on gender policy and practice’.
She said « Don’t be deceived that there are no obstacles to leadership positions. As women in the media, you need to prepare yourself for the job.
» As women, you need to improve yourselves in terms of education, women should stop complaining and giving unnecessary excuses but rather do courses relevant to their job. No knowledge is wasted, » she said.
Abu said although journalism was a tough job, women should learn how to balance their work place and home.
She said there should be no discrimination in terms of who covered some particular beats, saying women should be given opportunities to prove their worth.
« There are many issues affecting gender parity in the country which include, no active gender policy, no equal opportunities for employment and less capacity building for women to build their self-esteem.
« When women are hired in leadership positions in the newsroom, news for women and about women come to the top more often than not, there is family atmosphere and diversification, » abu said.
She said there should be gender balance when reporting stories, adding that there was need to change the trend of one-sided reporting.
The Senior Programme of WSCIJ, Mr Adeolu Adekola, said the centre carried out a survey recently and found out that many of the media houses sampled do not have a stand alone policy document on gender in the newsroom, and if available, was poorly communicated.
« Most of the media organisations sampled are unintentional about including female persons in leadership, as they have no stipulated quota for women in their recruitment policy for the C-suite.
« More females than their male counterparts were found to have experienced sexual harassment and are liable to suffer stigmatisation upon reporting the harassment.
« Less attention is paid to the safety of journalists in media houses surveyed, whether male or female.
Adekola said there was gap observed in the training of journalists on gender issues and reporting in many of the media houses sampled.
« Be intentional with respect to placement of female persons in decision-making positions.
« The safety of journalists covering volatile areas should be a top priority for media managers.Training for members of staff and particularly those on gender issues, »he said.
The Editor-in-Chief of NAN, Mr Idris Abdulrahman, in his remark said the outcome of the training would be related to the management for consideration.
He said that the agency would also consider training opportunities on gender matters.
The Centre’s Coordinator, Mrs Moturanyo Alaka, said the centre aimed at empowering female reporters with the skills, finesse, support and tools to bold steps that would help position them for the highest leadership positions in their media houses.
NAN reports that the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism started in 2005 as an initiative dedicated to investigative reporting in Nigeria.