International Women’s Day: NAWOJ seeks more publicity on Women’s achievements

Eme Offiong, Calabar and Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has urged media practitioners to allot more spaces to celebrate women’s achievements on their platforms.

The Vice President Zone F, Mrs Uduak Obeten-Okorn and the Secretary, Eunice Emeyazia, in a jointly signed statement to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day in Cross Rivers State also harped on the need for women in positions of authority to mentor younger ones.

According to the journalists, “The women, who play extraordinary roles in the communities and around the countries need more focus from the media. Media gatekeepers and practitioners, in general, need to set agenda, creating documentaries, features and interviews about women, while also providing more spaces for stories that put women at the centre.”

The NAWOJ leaders noted, The International Women’s Day presents another opportunity to celebrate how far women have come in society. Although women were fast-rising above the stereotypes in the past few years, more work needed to be done.”

Action For Equality

NAWOJ Zonal leaders stated that the theme for the 2021 International Women’s Day Celebration, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world and the campaign focus with the Hashtag #I choose to challenge were apt.

They urged female journalists to Use their ink to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality” stressing,There is a need for a representation that reflects women and girls in all diversity and across cultural, social, economic and political situations.”

“It is our responsibility to challenge the situation we find ourselves and for us, mentorship is the watchword. We should mentor upcoming women by involving them in activities, creating rooms for these young ones to showcase their potentials as this would contribute to strengthening women folks,” the NAWOJ leaders emphasized.

In a related development, Mrs Umo Basi-Edet, the Cross River Chairman of NAWOJ called on citizens to end the exclusion, segregation and marginalization of women and girls to ensure a gender-equal world.

Basi-Edet stated, “it is high time Nigerians desisted from the archaic, cultural and socio-economic barriers that prevent women from taking their seat at the decision-making table to ensure resources and power are distributed equally.”

She reiterated the need for people, especially media practitioners to always celebrate women’s outstanding achievements in society as an encouragement to younger ones particularly those in the rural areas.

Oyo  State Chapter

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Chapter of NAWOJ, says the moment has come to fully harness the power of women’s leadership for future opportunities and a better society.

Oyo NAWOJ made the call in a statement signed by the Chairperson, Comrade Jadesola Ajibola, and the Secretary, Comrade Stella Oyebanji, saying it is a symbol to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration with the theme:  “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” and hashtags for social media #IWD2021 and #InternationalWomensday2021.

Laying emphasis on the theme, the statement noted that women, as well as men, are at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis, serving as caregivers, media personnel, and health workers, demonstrating their knowledge and skills, asserting that women must be given the opportunity to play full leadership roles in shaping decisions being made, as the world responds to and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oyo NAWOJ also affirmed that there is the need to break down historic, cultural, and socio-economic barriers that prevent women from taking their rightful positions whenever decision-making processes are on the ground, to ensure that resources and power are distributed evenly.

The statement notes that the 2021 celebration is an opportunity to call for an end to violence against women and girls, as many women and girls experienced various types of abuse, during the lockdown, when Coronavirus broke out in 2020, leaving many psychologically distressed.

Emphasising the need to give women a voice as the world celebrates International Women’s Day, Oyo NAWOJ called for the implementation of the Child’s Right law and the Violence Against Persons law, asking that the Violence Against Persons law recently signed by Governor Seyi Makinde should be in place for the Judiciary to continue in its efforts at bringing anyone that violates women or the girl child to book.

The Association commended the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin; the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Honourable Olawunmi Oladeji; the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, led by Honourable Faosat Sanni, as well as the Ministry of Justice led by Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, for their continuous efforts at making laws that would make life meaningful for women and children.

While wishing every woman across the world a happy celebration, Oyo NAWOJ called on security agencies to ensure that no case involving violation of women and children is swept under the carpet.

PIAK

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