President Nigeria Association on Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Comrade Ladi Bala, has urged the media and journalists to set the right agenda for gender and persons with disabilities inclusivity in the electoral processes.
She also tasked them with providing accurate and verifiable information to help promote sane societies.
Comrade Ladi Bala made the call in Abuja at the opening of a two-day training for female journalists.
“As women journalists, let us be in the vanguard of promoting women’s issues, gender inclusivity and discouraging gender marginalization in the electoral process and after the elections,” she stated.
“The media as the watchdog of the society and the practitioners as information managers have a crucial role to play in the leadership recruitment process in our great nation.”
NAWOJ President added the training exposes participants to the practical tools of countering fake news, disinformation, and misinformation.
“It is a known fact that advancement in information technology and the emergence of several social media platforms have come with the challenges of disinformation, misinformation and fake news,” Comrade Bala pointed out.
She advised the participants to open up to new ideas and skills to help them stand out and promote a peaceful electoral process and good governance.
She lauded the International Press Centre and funder of the training under the EUSDGN project for investing in the building of strong democratic culture and institutions that enhance the conduct of free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in Nigeria
The NAWOJ arrowhead said it was the second leg of the training in their deliberate determination to enhance the capacity of women journalists in Nigeria.
She noted that the International Press Centre had conducted similar training the first week of November for women journalists in South East, South-South and South-West geo-political zones in Port Harcourt.
In a welcome address Executive Director of the International Press Centre (IPC), Mr Lanre Arogundade, said the workshop was designed to attain the key aim of enhancing the professional skills of female journalists to engage in impactful, inclusive and public interest reporting of the ongoing electoral processes and particularly, the 2023 elections.
“We are delighted to have as a worthy partner in this exercise- the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), under the leadership of Ladi Bala-which underscores our joint commitment to ensuring that female journalists are equipped to help strengthen the democratic processes,” he stated.
“To make journalism better for women journalists and women journalists better for journalism is, therefore, the slogan we have adopted as we intensify our efforts.”
Mr Arogundade noted the workshop as an activity implemented by IPC, as lead partner, and the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) under Component 4: Support to Media of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGNII) project.
He added: “Because the project seeks to make the media catalysts of credible elections, the actions, including media engagements like this, seek to strengthen the media for fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of electoral processes in Nigeria.”
Among others, the IPC Executive Director said they sought to enhance the professionalism of media practitioners, especially women, and strengthen media professionals’ capacity to deal with electoral misinformation/disinformation.