Group Seeks Passage Of Gender Bills By 10th National Assembly

A Non-Governmental Organisation, under the aegis of the Female Reporters Leadership Programme Initiative (FRLP), has called on the 10th National Assembly to reconsider the gender bills with a view to passing them.

Mrs Ann Godwin, a Fellow of the FRLP, made the call during a one-day Leadership training for Female Journalists, organised by the group and supported by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

Godwin, who was the keynote speaker at the event, with the theme “Factors Challenging the Rise of Female Journalists in Leading Newsrooms”, said that the theme was apt as it is geared towards building more female champions in Journalism.

Godwin, who is also the Executive Director of Step-Up Media Initiative, observed that there was a more phenomenal rise of women in journalism than in the past.

She noted that women were occupying top media positions, such as women editors in Energy, politics, Defence, economy, among others.

Godwin, who is also a correspondent of the Guardian Newspaper in Rivers, stated that the strides were boosting the feminine theory which talked about boosting women’s chances in Leadership positions and giving them voices.

She stated that there were some challenges faced by women in journalism in spite of the rising phenomenon due to the non-passage of the gender bills by the National Assembly.

She recalled the 2022 protest by women at the national Assembly to urge members to pass the five significant gender bills which were rejected during the constitution amendment.

“If we have gender bills in place supporting women, media managers and other firms will treat women as professionals not based on gender,” she said.

She mentioned other factors as women playing gender card unconsciously, low drive, lack of self confidence, and superiority complex.

Others are being drained by other people’s successes, lack of interest in awards and fellowships, mindset of media Managers, among others.

Godwin urged women to be open to learning and advancing to current technology to enhance their growth in journalism.

She urged media managers and Editors in the Newsroom to believe in women, give them the opportunity to handle positions and remove the gender bias and see them as professionals.

Karina Igonikon, the convener of the programme, said that one of the aims of the 2023 Wole Soyinka training was to build Champions that would make impacts in the Newsrooms.

Igonikon said that the aim of the seminar was also to create awareness and wake up the consciousness of women in journalism that they have the ability to take up leadership positions in Newsrooms amidst their challenges.

She observed that women were many in media newsrooms but when it comes to leadership positions a lot of bias about women leadership comes to play.

She urged women to prepare and improve themselves to take up leadership opportunities in the Newsroom and make impact in journalism.

Furthermore, Mrs Stella Din-Jacob, the Director of News for Television Continental Communications (TVC), said women could be good leaders in journalism, stating that they should be good on their jobs, if not better than men.

Din-Jacob, who was also the Special Guest at the event, encouraged women to be focused as professionals regardless of the challenges and difficulties facing them.

She advised women to stay focused, keep themselves in the right trajectory and ignore every distraction that seemed to derail them from rising. (NAN)

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