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Kaduna NAWOJ addresses challenges of female journalists

A two-day capacity-building workshop that ended in Kaduna State on Friday has identified alleged discrimination in the workplace and elevation in favour of their male colleagues as some of the challenges that women journalists in Nigeria endure.

In a communique at the end of the programme, the participants observed that women journalists “lack protection from their organisations and often face discrimination such as being passed over for assignments and promotion in favour of their male counterparts.”

Arewa PUNCH reports that CLEEN Foundation organised the workshop in collaboration with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, the Norwegian Embassy, UN Women, and the Kaduna State Government.

Tagged, “Gender Responsive and Conflict Sensitive Actions,” the workshop drew participants from NAWOJ leadership from the North-West states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara as well as women security operatives and representatives of some Non-governmental Organisations.

Our correspondent, who was a participant at the conference, reports that some of the objectives of the workshop were to explore conflict sensitive journalism and mediation, emphasising the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women professionals.

According to the communique, “women journalists, especially those reporting on sensitive areas, frequently encounter harassment, intimidation and even physical threats both online and in the field.

“The demands of journalism such as long hours of duty are difficult for women journalists who also have family responsibilities.’’

“Women journalists have limited access to professional networks and mentorship opportunities compared to their male counterparts.

“Women journalists face additional barriers in accessing information sources and decision makers, especially male-dominated sectors and conservative communities.”

It added that, “Women journalists lack adequate knowledge on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR1325) which addresses the impacts of war on women and the importance of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peace building, peace keeping, humanitarian response and post-conflict reconstruction.”

The communique recommended that, “women journalists should be allowed to carry out their primary functions without hindrance or threat.

“NAWOJ at the State levels should establish a Support Fund to assist the less privileged among them and members undergoing emotional trauma.

“An enhanced women representation in media leadership and other sectors and capacity mentorship training for early career women journalists,” the communique maintained.

PUNCH

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