The need for government and policy makers to push forward Women Economic Empowerment was the subject of discussion at a four-days training workshop for 30 journalists in Abuja recently.
Speaking during the workshop,President of Association of Communication Scholars Practitioners of Nigeria (ACSPN) and Vice Chancellor Federal University,Kashere,Prof.Umaru Pate said policies driving Women Economic Empowerment ( WEE) such as National Gender policy and Sectoral Gender policies should be given priority by government and private sector.
Pate noted that the mass media is a veritable tool which can be used to create awareness on WEE to bring about positive policy change and bring about gender equity.
General Secretary of ACSPN and Vice Chancellor ,Caleb University,Lagos Prof.Owens- Ibie, said Women Economic Empowerment is important for National Development hence the need to train more journalists in that area.
Speaking on behalf of Organisers of the training the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) Director of Projects,
Dr Stanley Ukpai, said there was need for the media to harp on sailent issues partaining Women Economic Empowerment and set the agenda for change.
” Media should change the narrative about WEE issues.We are not were we should be and government should invest in training and skills acquisation for women and not just hand money out to them’ Ukpai said.
Director, Communications and Partnership Development,dRPC,Hassan A.Karofi said defination of Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is adopted from International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW) thus
” A woman is economically empowered when she has access to skills, resources, and institutions she needs to succeed and advance economically as well as the power to make and act on economic decisions including the control of personal and household resources.”
Karofii noted that with this defination journalist writing WEE stories are better armed to write stories which will help more women to be empowered thereby bridging the gender gap.
The Executive Director ,Women in Media ( WIM) Hajiya Halima Bin Umar said journalists are the ones to showcase WEE adding that they most continually be trained to build their capacities.
She noted that it was for this reason that the four-day training was organised for journalists to sharpen their skills on WEE reporting.
One of the Facilitators and Head of Dept. Mass Communication at Caleb University ,Lagos,Dr Solomon Oyeleye said achieving WEE is not a quick fix.
” It will take sound public policies, a holistic approach and long term commitment from government and all development actors.”
He further highlighted guidelines in writing WEE stories as proffering solutions, imagery and factual writing and the need for use of credible data amongest others.
The President of National Association of Women Entrepreneurs ( NAWE) Mrs Vera Ndanusa spoke on the need for synergy amongest MDAs handling women and gender issues to bring about empowerment of women.
She noted that budget for WEE has declined in the 2022 budget as compared to 2021 budget adding that government need to invest in Women Economic Empowerment as this will lead to development in the society.
Highlighting the benefits of WEE,the National President, Nigeria Economic Society (NES) Prof Ummu Jalingo, said WEE will lead to increased National Income,Reduction in income inequality and improved economic resilence thereby bridging gender inequality.
One of the journalists at the training Joy Anigbogu from Daily Independent said the workshop was apt,enriching and has sharpened her skill in reporting WEE issues.She thanked the organisers for the opportunity and promised to highlight more on Women Economic Empowerment in her reportage.