11 resource persons converge on Lagos between 16 and 17 February at the behest of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) for a two-day ideation session to discuss Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement project. The project seeks to strategically engage the executive management and staff of news media organisations within Nigeria and eventually Africa, to increase the representation of women in their coverage and newsroom leadership, design a source guide of women experts and raise champions for the cause of equality.
The meeting had in attendance Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Adesola Ayo-Aderele, media consultant and former online editor, The Nation newspaper; Amina Alhassan, Deputy Editor of Daily Trust, and Amina Salihu, Senior Programme Officer, MacArthur Foundation. Others were Gbemiga Ogunleye, former Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and lawyer; Chioma Agwuegbo, Executive Director, TechHer; Juliana Francis, Journalist, New Telegraph; Lekan Otunfodurin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network; Rotimi Sankore, Editor-In-Chief, African Centre for Development Journalism, Faith Yahaya, Journalist, The Nation and select members of the WSCIJ team.
The group also deliberated on how best to improve women’s inclusion in decision-making, reportage and enhance their visibility in the news. The meeting allowed the organisation to map out how best to expand and define its plans with media experts and stakeholders on the Report Women! News and Newsroom Engagement project.
Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the three-year project was initiated by the centre in 2014 to address issues of access to education, health care, economic empowerment, issues of abuse -widowhood practice, sexual violence, forced marriage, displacement, domestic violence and other challenges that women often face.
Under the Report Women! female journalists have also been empowered with skills, finesse, tools, and supported to take bold steps that help position them for the highest leadership positions in the media.