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Women charged to rise above political impediments

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JOURNALISTS have been charged to assist in actualising the 35 per cent affirmative action for women in politics.

 Director of UNIZIK FM, Stella Okunna gave the chage while delivering a lecture at a one-day workshop organised for journalists on gender reporting by the Association of Common Wealth University, in collaboration with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, held at the university.

The event, which aimed at training journalists on enhancing  women’s participation in politics, creating visibility for women in leadership positions and influence gender reportage in the media was part of the requirements for the fulfillment of the Association of Common Wealth University’s gender programme grant won by Prof. Stella Okunna.

The academia while speaking on the theme of the workshop, “Enhancing Women’s Participation in Politics and Visibility in Leadership, described the media as the oxygen of democracy. She stressed the important role required of them in creating visibility for women in leadership positions.

Prof. Okunna, who used Anambra State as her case study, stated that despite the statistics which showed minor difference between the population of men and women in elective and appointive positions, Anambra women are largely educated but the men still dominate in the political scene in the state.

According to the director, “the media has the capacity to reach, raise issues, create awareness on topics as well as disseminate information. Women are asking for equity, fairness and not equality.”

She outlined many factors that militate against women such as culture, religion, financial resources, marriage among other things, describing them as major impediments to women in rising politically.

 The resource person, Dr. Chinedu Ekwealor, who is also the Assistant Prof for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, called on media practitioners to step up action in reporting women in politics and help to change perception about women.

 Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Charles Esimone noted that the vision of the university to become one of the leading 200 universities in the world, tagged ‘vision 200’, cannot be achieved without the support of the media.

 Prof. Esimone called on women to go for excellence and never accept the mediocre levels.

  Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sir Emma Ifesinachi appealed for waver from the university to enable children of practicing journalists gain admission.

 The workshop featured journalists from print and electronic, Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, HOD, Mass communication, Prof Chinwe Uzochukwu, among others

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