The International Press Center (IPC), an NGO, in partnership with the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has trained 36 women journalists in capacity building ahead of the 2023 general election.
The training aimed to prepare them to be agents of change in the democratic process in Nigeria.
Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, IPC, stated this at the opening of a two day workshop/training held on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the training is a skills enhancement and capacity building/mentoring session for women journalists who have been drawn from the South East, South West and South South in preparation for the 2023 general election.
The workshop is being held as part of the activities of Component 4 (Media Support) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN II) project, of which IPC is the lead partner.
Arogundade said the training was designed to further enhance participants' skills in professional, impactful, inclusive and public interest reporting on electoral processes and the 2023 election.
He pointed out that it was necessary for the media to serve as a catalyst for credible elections, without which democracy would not be consolidated.
He also added that the actions of the project sought to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the electoral processes in Nigeria.
“The goal is to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive information on electoral processes and elections.
“Furthermore, it seeks to position women journalists to be on the front lines of professional, inclusive, conflict-sensitive, fact-checked and data-driven coverage and reporting,” Arogundade said.
The IPC Executive Director explained that the European Union, through its support to the media under EU-SDGNII in preparation for the elections, hoped to strengthen the capacity of media professionals to deal with misinformation/disinformation. electoral.
· “This implies improving the capacity of media platforms to diversify, deepen the coverage of the electoral process and provide civic and electoral education
"It also includes improving media involvement in promoting women, youth and marginalized groups in politics."
In her remarks, NAWOJ President Ms. Ladi Bala urged journalists to use the occasion to protect and strengthen Nigeria's democracy in preparation for the 2023 general election.
The NAWOJ president said that as a conscience of society, people rely heavily on the media to get the right information to help them understand, make a better and more informed opinion, and make positive contributions to shaping to a better society.
She said that in this way, the society would be better served based on the correct decision-making and the implementation of the improved action plan.
Bala noted that with the globalization of the media space through information technology, enhancing the ability of professionals, particularly journalists, to stay in tune with global best practices had become essential, if the media did well.
According to her, the media, as an integral part of society with unique and sensitive roles to play on many fronts for development, will further improve with the training and retraining of available professionals.
Therefore, he commended the IPC and the EU for investing in the development of Nigerian society and media professionals in particular.
She said: “This laudable effort by the EU is commendable and a clear testament to its commitment in building a strong and virile media space that will go a long way towards strengthening democracy and promoting good governance.
"As we head into 2023, the critical role of journalists in conducting and promoting peaceful electoral processes in Nigeria is key and should not be handled lightly."
Source Credit: NAN
Stakeholders have unanimously adopted the renaming of National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja to Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development.
The stakeholders comprising women groups, said this at a public hearing on a bill on the renaming of the centre to Maryam Babangida Centre, organised by the Senate Committee on Women Affairs on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the centre was established in 1992 and named after Late Maryam Babangida, given her steering initiatives on women – development.
It was however, renamed the National Centre for Women Development ( NCWD) in 1994, by the military regime of late Gen.Sani Abacha.
Some of the stakeholders included Mrs Paulen Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Lami Lau, the President of National Council for Women Societies ( NCWS) and Mrs Ladi Bala, the President, National Association of Women Journalists ( NAWOJ).
Speaking, Sen. Batty Apiafi, the sponsor of the bill, said that the naming of the centre after Maryam Babangida would serve as an honour in recongnition of her tremendous contributions toward uplifting Nigerian women.
” The National Centre for Women Development Act ( Amendment ) Bill 2022 , seeks among others , to rename the Centre after Late Maryam Babangida.
“It seeks to change the designation of Head of the Centre from Executive Secretary to Director -General and upgrading it to global standard.
” Renaming NCWD as the Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development , will serve as fitting monument to Nigerian women and practical manifestation of goals of its founder for women empowerment through education , self – achievement and mobilisation,” she said.
She said the bill was also aimed at enhancing the functions of the centre,by granting it discretionary powers to award contracts where it was previously restricted.
She said the need for the legislature to be at the forefront of the fight for women empowerment and development can never be overemphasised.
“It was an unfortunate event during the constitutional amendment passage that all five amendments bills that would have had positive impact on women in Nigeria were not passed by the Senate,” she said.
She said the committee would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to fight for the progress of Nigerian women like Maryam Babangida did during her lifetime.
Apiafi said that given the support of the bill as indicated in the various presentations, report for its consideration for third reading would be presented to the senate at plenary.
Speaking, Tellen said the ministry was in full support of renaming the centre after the founder and making it the hub for all developmental issues.
Daughter of late Maryam Babangida, Ms Aisha, said that the original goals of the centre included enhancing women’s role in education, culture, law, politics, agriculture, cooperatives and rural development .
She said that the centre should be used to recognise and champion those women who were making a difference and setting examples to other.
“I will like to see a fund that can issue grants to women who are excelling in these areas to enable them to go further and to lead the way for others,” she said.
Aisha said d that the original goals of the centre included enhancing women’s role in education, culture, law, politics, agriculture, cooperatives and rural development.
Ebere Ifendu, President, Women in Politics Forum, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on women in the private sector to increase their support for women in politics.
Ifendu made the call in her presentation during the UN Women Private Sector and Women in Politics Consultative Dialogue, on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ifendu, who was represented by Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, the immediate past national president of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), said that women should show support for women who would be contesting in the 2023 general elections.
“This show of support must not necessarily come in the form of money, it can be the influence we have on certain constituents that would be essential to the female contestant winning.
“You can use that billboard to help her visibility, invite her on air to speak about her manifesto, attend her rallies, put in a good word for her in a room where it matters, print campaign materials for her and so much more.
“Women in politics forum has recently conducted a research to identify the priority needs of women in Nigeria to form part of the Governance Agenda for an Inclusive Nigeria (GAIN).
“We call on women in the private sector to own this too as it is a demand tool, which Nigerian women will use to engage candidates with a view to creating more spaces for themselves at the decision making table,” she said.
Ifendu recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sept. 20 released the final list of presidential and national assembly candidates for the 2023 general election.
She said an analysis of the candidates, according to gender, showed that there was only one female candidate for the presidential election.
“This represents just 2.77 per cent of the candidates for the presidential elections with no party fielding a female as the vice-presidential candidate.
“For the senate, out of the 1,101 candidates vying for 109 senatorial seats, 92 are women (8.35 per cent) while 288 women are contesting for House of Representatives seats out of the total 3,122 candidates, representing 9.2 per cent,” she said.
Ifendu said cumulatively, there are 381 women among the total of 4,259 contestants for the presidency (presidential candidates and running mates) and the National Assembly seats.
She said this represented 8.9 per cent of the candidates, adding that currently, there are about 15 states without a female legislator in the states’ houses of assemblies.
Ifendu noted that the released list of candidates did not tell of a promising increase for Nigerian women in the states’ houses of assemblies.
She said while the forum awaited the release of other candidates from INEC, the released list of candidates showed some states that had not fielded any female as a candidate to the National Assembly across the 18 political parties.
“A state-by-state analysis shows that of the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, five states did not field any woman as a candidate to the Senate while one state did not field any woman as a candidate to the House of Representatives.
“The states lacking in this regard are Kano, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara for Senate, and Jigawa for the House of Representatives.
“This means that even without conducting elections, 13.5 per cent of states will not have female representatives at the Senate while 2.7 per cent of states will have no female representation at the House of Representatives,” Ifendu said.
She added that among the states that had fielded female candidates to the National Assembly, 16.2 per cent had only one female candidate for the Senate and 10.8 per cent had only one candidate for the House of Representatives.
The president said only 8.1 per cent of states had nominated a number of women.
She said that she truly appreciated women that had over time created a space for themselves in the private sector.
She said with each achievement they made, women in politics are greatly encouraged.
Girl child: Beyond the commemoration rhetoric
Girl child: Beyond the commemoration rhetoric
By Uche Anunne, News Agency of Nigeria
On Oct. 11, Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child.
The UN General Assembly, in Resolution 66170 of Dec. 19, 2011 declared that day as the International Day of the Girl Child.
The Day, among others, seeks to recognise girls’ rights and the peculiar challenges girls face globally.
The International Day of the Girl Child draws attention to the need to mitigate the challenges that confront girls as well as promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
The theme for the 2022 celebration is “Our Time Is Now – Our Rights, Our Future.
” “Let’s enable girls to thrive in school, in politics, in business, and in all aspects of their lives because investing in girls is investing in our common future.
“Equal representation of Girls in Decision making tables is a milestone in achieving gender equality,” said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a circulated video to commemorate the day.
It will be an understatement to say that girls worldwide face enormous challenges.
In addition to other forms of inhuman treatment such trafficking for sex and forced labour, and marriage, girls have unique challenges in their education and hygiene as many of them are out of school because lack of toilet and water-related issues.
According to the UN, 10 million girls risk child marriage, and 72 per cent of detected sexual exploitation victims are girls.
In this internet age, girls also face challenges as global internet user gender gap has grown from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019, with the gap being wider in least- development countries as it stands at 43 per cent.
No group of women will be in a better position to appreciate the plight of the girl child than female professionals, who have ridden through the challenges to become successful in their careers.
One of such groups is the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Ekiti state chapter which has added its voice to the call for a better environment for the girl child to reach her potential.
In a statement by the chairperson, Mrs Fatima Bello, and Secretary, Mrs Adewumi Ademiju, to commemorate the 2022 edition of the International Day of Girl Child, NAWOJ said more resources should be devoted to the education of the girl child.
“The multiple roles played by girl children in society before and after they reach adulthood are enormous; they go to school, help with domestic chores, and face life challenges.
“The purpose of this day is to spread awareness about the gender-based discriminations that girls face in our society and to bring change in the attitude towards girls,” said the female journalists.
In its reaction, the International Rescue Committee (ICR) paid tribute to girls “who are showing remarkable resilience in the face of discrimination, inequality, and violence”.
In Nigeria, statistics released by UNICEF paint a more troubling scenario for the girl child.
“Girls suffer more than boys in terms of missing out on education.
“In the north-east of Nigeria, only 41 per cent of eligible girls receive primary education, 47 per cent in the north-west.
\ “Social attitudes can also impact negatively on education rates especially in northern Nigeria.
“In north-eastern and north-western states, 29 per cent and 35 per cent of Muslim children, respectively, attend Qur’anic education, which does not include basic education skills such as literacy and numeracy.
“These children are officially considered out-of-school by the Government“, said the UN agency.
In a message to commemorate this year’s event, UNICEF said although there has been increased awareness about the girl child, “yet, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential.
“This is made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19, and humanitarian conflict.
“Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence”, it said.
However, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen was recently quoted by the media as assuring that the Federal Government would continue to prioritise girls in its policies and programmes.
According to her, the government is aware of the challenges faced by the girl child in accessing basic education that will prepare her to be a major contributor to national growth.
While it acknowledges the International Day of the Girl Child, evidence shows that the average girl child still suffers from multiple challenges that inhibit her from realising her full potentialities.
It is important that the stakeholders, irrespective of their political, ethnic, and religious leaning join forces with the federal government to guarantee a beautiful feature for the girl child.
Society has to transcend the annual ritual of encomiums, statistics, and pledges and take concrete steps to match their professions to the wellbeing of the girl child with actions.
**If used please credit the writer and News Agency of Nigeria
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has advised parents to guard their children against involvement in any act of thuggery, especially before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Ilorin, signed by its National Secretary, Helen Udofa, which was made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan.
The NAWOJ NEC meeting was Presided over by its National President, Mrs Ladi Bala, with the theme: “The Electoral Process: Safety and Responsibilities of Journalists”.
It also called on registered voters to endeavour to collect their PVCs, so that they could exercise their franchise in the forthcoming general elections.
NAWOJ also urged those states that were yet to domesticate the VAPP Law to do so to checkmate indecent dressing, while states that have domesticated the Law should ensure its full implementation.
“NEC in session expressed worries over deplorable state of the roads across the country, and called on governments at all levels to, as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate roads in their domains so as to put them in good condition for safety of the users,” the communique stated.
It also called on government to ensure the resuscitation of rail transport to reduce the pressure on the roads.
The NEC, however, called on the Federal Government to put in place measures that would help cushion the effects of high cost of living in the country.
The association, while urging members to encourage and support one another, it passionately appealed to them to take care of their mental health due to the peculiar nature of the Journalism profession.
Dr Saudah Sallah-Abdulbaqi has charged journalists on accuracy, inclusiveness and balanced reporting during the electioneering period.
Sallah-Abdulbaqi gave the task in her presentation on “the electoral process; safety and responsibilities of journalists” on Thursday in Ilorin.
He spoke at the opening ceremony of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ).
She said that journalists were at the centre of everything that happens during elections and are exposed to so many risks and harassment.
The don charged journalists to enlighten the world that voting is a civic right, adding that the use of uncivil languages and behaviours should be discouraged in the profession.
Sallah-Abdulbaqi said to reduce risks while covering elections, journalists must study and understand the election safety manual and familiarise themselves with the locals and environments.
“Be knowledgeable about the discourse of interviews, ensure that guests do not use hate speeches, negative campaign words.
“Guide against attack on minorities, be conscious of gender, culture and avoid stereotypes.
“Do not go to conflict heated areas alone, go with the company of security personnel to avoid being harassed,” she advised.
She however urged journalists to serve the citizens in order to promote peace and tranquility.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairperson of NAWOJ in Kwara, Madam Ayobola Ipinlaiye, appreciated the guests and delegates, saying it is a privilege to host the NEC meeting in Kwara.
Ipinlaiye also thanked the state government for being gender sensitive and also for always supporting women programmes in the state.
The state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Lanre Ahmed, said that the theme of the event was apt and timely.
Ahmed said: “I am glad women journalists have taken it upon themselves to enlighten the public on the need to have free, fair, credible and secure election”.
The National President of the association, Mrs Ladi Bala, said the choice of Kwara as a meeting point was because the state is one of the most peaceful in the country.
Bala described Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as a great leader who is working to improve the media houses and NUJ in the state.
She said it is a clarion call on media organisations to see it as their role to create a credible democratic process.
“Journalists are critical stakeholders, women need to understand their role in electoral process and play our part.
“We often step on toes in the discharge of our duties and there are resultant clashes and our security is at stake “Maintain neutrality in the discharge of your duties, never bring your opinion into your work,” she counselled.
The NAWOJ president also advised journalists to beware of overzealousness in the discharge of their duties.
She enjoined them to adhere to the ethics of the profession, saying ‘we must be alive to tell stories’.
The Head, Voter Registration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Adamu Musa, appreciated the media for always supporting the commission’s activities.
Musa emphasised that eligible voters should not only register but obtain their voter cards, saying ‘no PVC, no vote’.
He assured the public that their votes would count in the coming elections.
He said that plans were underway to train journalists on election reporting, adding that journalists will be accr
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Abia chapter, on Monday elected a new executive committee (EXCO) to pilot the affairs of the body for the next three years.
The six-member EXCO has Josephine Ogwo of the state Ministry of Information Chapel as the Chairperson, while Nora Okafor of Modern Communications Ltd., emerged as the Vice. Others were Sally Anyaso of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA) (Secretary), Juilet Onyebuchi of the Federal Information (Ass. Secretary ), Kate Emeka of the state Information Chapel (Fin. Secretary) and Nkechi Onuoha also of BCA (Treasurer).
A Senior Counsel in the state Ministry of Justice, Mr John Ifereobasi, administered the Oath of Office on them.
In a brief remark, Ifereobasi advised those in authority to shun impunity, saying that it was wrong for any leader to impose an executive on an association.
He further advised that the Constitution of any association be duly respected to avoid anarchy.
The ceremony was witnessed by two other legal practitioners in the state, Messrs Gloria Chukwueke and Chinenye Afunwa.
Earlier in a remark, the Chairperson of the Credentials Screening Committee of the association, Nkasi Akoma, said that the new EXCO was inaugurated in line with the resolution of the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of NAWOJ in Asaba.
Akoma, represented by the Secretary, Abia Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Adaeze Igbokwe, said that NEC mandated Abia NAWOJ to conduct election for a new EXCO before the next NEC meeting.
In a remark, the outgone Chairperson, Beatrice Odoemelam thanked God for the peaceful conduct of the election.
Odoemelam warned against any act capable of causing crisis in Abia NAWOJ, saying that the chapter had always been known for peace.
According to her, we followed due process and were properly guided by the Constitution of NAWOJ in conducting the election.
In separate speeches, the immediate past officials, Henrietta Ashikodi, Ifeyinwa Abiakam and an official of Abia NUJ, Chibuzor Maduka-Iroh, warned against any attempt that could truncate the peace enjoyed in Abia NAWOJ.
The group vowed to remain united, in spite of an alleged attempt to create disunity and factions in the chapter.
In an acceptance speech, the new chairperson, Ogwo, thanked membere for finding them worthy to serve the association.
She pledged to run an open door policy, saying that her EXCO would strive to carry every member along in the scheme of things.
She urged practicing female journalists in the state to formally register in the association.
She contended that “being a member of NUJ does not automatically qualify one as a member of NAWOJ”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abia NAWOJ was recently thrown into crisis after the national leadership of the association dissolved the state EXCO and Akoma-led committee already set up to conduct the election.
In their place, the National Secretariat appointed a seven-member Caretake Committee, allegedly headed by a non-registered NAWOJ member, Oluchi Lechi-Ikechukwu.
The committee was mandated to run the affairs of the association and conduct election for a new EXCO in seven months.
The Chairperson, Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Plateau chapter, Prof. Amaka Ocheke, says that women who don’t breastfeed are more susceptible to the risk of getting breast cancer.
Ocheke who is a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist with the University of Jos Teaching Hospital (JUTH), said this during a breast cancer awareness walk in Jos. The walk was organised in collaboration with the Nigeria Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) on Thursday.
Ocheke further said that other predisposing factors were early commencement of menstruation and early start of menopause, drinking, smoking, consumption of fatty food and family history (genetics).
She said that early detection “is key for survival, as when it is detected early it is treatable”.
Ocheke, however, noted that most women only came when the disease was in an advanced stage and difficult to manage.
She called on women and girls to inculcate the act of examining their breasts and armpits monthly for abnormalities such as lumps and change in the appearance of the breast skin and nipple as more ladies in their 20s and 30s were coming down with breast cancer.
She called on women from ages 40 and above to ensure they go for yearly mammogram as the act helps to detect tumors in the breast very early.
Similarly, the chairperson of NAWOJ in Plateau, Mrs Nene Dung, said that the walk was salient in creating and rising awareness about breast cancer.
Dung explained that most women “still live in denial as regards breast cancer and such should be discouraged as the denial has led to the death of many women”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the walk began from the city centre to old JUTH.
The Executive Secretary, Plateau Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Fr. George Gorap, has said that life expectancy has reduced globally due to lack of peace.
Gorap said this while receiving a delegation of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in Jos on Thursday.
He stated that world peace has drastically reduced which he said was endangering the society.
“Life expectancy has reduced due to lack of peace in Nigeria and the world at large.
“The global peace index which was released recently and indicated that world peace has drastically dropped and the world has become less peaceful every year and this is endangering the society.
” he said.
Gorap stated that pilgrimage was an important aspect of a Christian life and one of the major platforms for peace-building, a call to prayer for unity and oneness of faith, respect for human life and peaceful co-existence.
He said that pilgrimage could transform the human person for the good of the society as it draws people closer to God and could contribute to the peace that the society was in need of, Gorap while admonishing Christians to value the importance of pilgrimage, said that the journey was aimed at building faith, spiritual transformation, moral soundness and to facilitate our preparedness for our final heavenly journey to God. He tasked journalists to be objective in their reportage and write after a thorough research and investigation.
Earlier, the state chairperson, NAWOJ, Mrs Nene Dung, while commending the executive secretary for lifting the board to greater heights, stated that NAWOJ was established to promote and advocate the rights of female journalists, vulnerable women and less-privileged.
Dung enjoined the board to always consider women during its activities.
“We applaud the efforts and the demonstration of the sense of responsibility by the Executive Secretary of this Board in lifting this place to greater heights within a short period, but we also see the need for a gender sensitive representation when it comes to some activities, this will boost our morale,” she said.
Aisha Ahmed, The Bureau Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria in Kano State, on Tuesday emerged as Vice Chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalist I(NAWOJ).
Ahmed and five others would run the affairs of the union for three years.
Inaugurating the new executives, Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammed Garba, said the inauguration of the new exco should fill in the gap for women journalists in Kano. “The state government will assist and support the new exco in carrying out their duties successfully,” he said.
Garba said it was a serious challenge and urged them to meet up to standard.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mallam Abbas Ibrahim, urged the new exco members to fill in the gaps of lapses in the union and remain as one.
He said they should not allow anyone to intimidate them while discharging their duties.
In her acceptance speech, The Chairperson, Hafsat Sani-Usman, from Abubakar Rimi Television (ARTV), pledged to carry along other members and support the union.
According to her, “valuable women do many things except things that will not add value to humanity”.
“Gender based violence is a worrisome phenomenon in the society and needs to be addressed squarely; as journalists, we must raise voices for voiceless against social ill, ” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the new executives include Elizabeth Ila, Secretary (NTA); Rukayya Umar, Assistant Secretary (Radio Kano); Shamsiyya Ibrahim, Treasurer (NOA) and Binta Kabir-Usman, Auditor from Ministry of Information.