Former Commissioner of Information in Rivers State, Ibim Semenitari, has said that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) may be addressed through early education as reported by ICIR.
Semenitari stated this during a panel discussion at the Centre for Journalism, Innovation and Development (CJIDlaunch)’s of the Gender-Based Violence Reporting Handbook in Abuja.
Accepting that journalists play a role in the fight against GBV, Semenitari believes it should go beyond the newsroom and become a part of children’s education.
“It begins at the kindergarten level with our children’s education. Media does not exist in and of itself. Only a concerted effort can bring about change,” she remarked.
She also encouraged the advertising agencies and the entertainment industry to help the fight against GBV by not sexualizing women in commercials and music videos.
Amina Alhassan, Deputy Editor of the Weekend Daily Trust who advocated for journalist training, pointed out that gender-based reporting was not limited to sexual assaults or violence against women.
“Women are usually the ones that suffer the most. But it’s when we limit ourselves to just women or only sexuality offenses that we make a mistake.
“Mental, physical, and even verbal difficulties are all part of gender-based violence,” she explained.
According to Alhassan, Journalists should safeguard the privacy of sexual abuse victims and focus on exposing criminals and keeping them out of positions of power.
While giving his opening remarks, Tobi Oluwatola, Acting Executive Director of CJID, shared that the GBV Reporting Handbook attempts to reduce negative preconceptions in GBV reporting.
The CJID’s objective is to support the media in fulfilling its job as a gatekeeper, agenda-setter, and watchdog for democracy. It is in this spirit that we have produced this gender-based reporting handbook”, he added.
Monturayo Alaka, Executive Director of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Amina Alhassan, Deputy Editor of the Weekend Daily Trust, and Jola Ayeye, Founding Member of the Feminist Coalition, were also on the panel.
Noel Balogun, Program Manager GRID Initiative, and Busola Ajibola, Deputy-Director, Journalism Programme CJID, served as moderators.