A media expert and Chief Executive Officer of Women Radio, WFM 91.7, Mrs. Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, has tasked media professionals to adopt gender sensitivity components to the reportage of conflict in Nigeria.
Mrs. Okewale-Sonaiya made the call while speaking at the Policy Dialogue on Conflict Sensitive Reportage organized by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy Democracy and Development (SCDDD) in collaboration with Mercy Corps and the United States Agency for International Development which held in Abuja.
Mrs. Okewale-Sonaiya stressed that the media should be inclusive, responsible and responsive while reporting conflict, adding that, “when you report women only as victims and not players, it is irresponsive.”
She asked that “how many media houses have continued to report about the cases of Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu? She also noted that the media owes it a duty to Nigerian citizens to do the right thing.
She added that “when you do not integrate gender into conflict, you’re disrespecting the key standards of the profession.”
Corroborating her, Blessing Oladunjoye, Publisher of BONews Service also asked for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in conflict reporting.
Oladunjoye mentioned that some people acquire disability as a result of conflict, and it is unfair to them if they’re not being reported about.
On his part, Mr. Jide Ojo, Executive Director, OJA Development Consult also reiterated the need to wear the gender lens when reporting conflicts.
Speaking on the need to avoid escalating conflicts, Mr. Ojo added that, “while we’re sensitive in the reportage of conflict in other not to escalate it, we should also ensure that we do not deny the truth of its existence.”