The International Press Centre, IPC has joined various media rights organizations, civil society organizations, media regulatory bodies and media practitioners across the world at a sub-regional conference in Senegal, on the repression of women in the media space.
The conference themed, “Working Together to Build and Regulate a Gender Inclusive West African Media Environment” is organized by the Panos Institute West Africa, PIWA, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Declaring the conference open, Diana Senghor, Executive Director, PIWA said the conference seeks to develop frameworks that would provide the legal, regulatory and operational environment that is more conducive to the production of gender sensitive and more inclusive journalism.
Senghor explained that it is imperative that certain measures are put in place to ensure that the media positive portrays women in a light.
“The African media does not respect women and the contribution women play in the media is very minimal.
“Even when women are mentioned, they are not regarded as significant, the contents are biased and often discriminatory,” Senghor said.
She charged African journalists to fulfill their professional obligations and role as public service providers to breach the imbalances in the coverage of women, adding that, it should portray women in a positive light.
On his part, Elvis Michel Kenwe, UNESCO West African Bureau, stated that it is the role of the media to ensure gender equality is achieved and not to promote stereotypes.
The three days conference, which will hold from February 11th – 13th, seeks to engage relevant stakeholders towards building a gender inclusive environment across West Africa.
Representing IPC at the meeting are; Stella Nwofia, Program Manager, IPC; Mrs Victoria Ibanga, IPC Board Member, Gender; also from Nigeria are; Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Media Rights Agenda and Blessing Oladunjoye, Publisher, BONews.