Varsity Don Blames Mass Media  For Not According Prominence To Women

A University Don, Professor Godwin Okon has blamed the mass media for not giving prominence to women who have made giant strides in their career.

He made the blame at a one-day training workshop organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Step-Up Women In Journalism Initiative (SWIJ) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Speaking on the topic, “Facilitating the Implementation of Gender Policies within Newsrooms and Organisations,” Prof. Okon regretted that despite women making giant marks in the media and corporate world, the mass media has failed to celebrate such icons, thus allowing continued male domination and focusing more on politics.

H said despite Nigeria being signatory to gender equality UN proclamations, women participation in political and decision making bodies have remained a far cry.

He called on the federal government to shift from formulating to implementing policies that promote gender equality, especially the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 5), which provides for 40 percent participation of women in decision making.

The Director of Research and Development, and lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Rivers State University, also highlighted stereotype as one of the greatest propeller of gender inequality, pointing out that gender issues had dominated national and international discourse for decades.

He stressed on the need for women especially those in the media to hold the government accountable in the implementation of gender equality policies, and  called on the coalition of female professionals to make themselves seen and visible, cascade the mantra of breed without greed by celebrating female icons, and also mainstream and take bold steps to make a difference.

On her part, the President and Founder, Advancing Women in Business, Port Harcourt, Josephine Itonyo, harped on the need for women to deliberately build capacity in order to make impacts in the society.

Itonyo, warned that if female journalists fail to equip themselves with modern journalism practice as dictated by modern technology, they will become obsolete with time.

Earlier, Broadcast Journalist and Entrepreneur, Dr. Ijeoma Tubosia, challenged female journalists on the need for self development.

Tubosia, while speaking on “Growing Personal Capacity in the current Economic Realities in Nigeria”, said for women to properly position themselves for recommendation through educative programmes, they must be intentional about self development and have retirement plans in order to avoid unnecessary domestic violence and challenges that come with old age.

Highpoint of the programme was a training on how to write a captivating bio, by the host, Ann Godwin.

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