IPC Raises Concern Over Low Percentage of Political and Electoral Reports About Women

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By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

Only 3% of 10,389 political and electoral reports in twelve Nigerian newspapers were devoted to women while 84% focused on men in the months of June, July and August 2018, the International Press Centre (IPC) disclosed.

The Director of International Press Centre (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade at a two-day workshop for Female Candidates from the North Central, North West and FCT on Effective Strategies and Methodologies in Engaging Media for Visibility during Electoral Campaigns, said the findings showed the continuation of the disturbing trend of under reporting of women during elections.

Held in Abuja on Monday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the workshop is supported by the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project.

According to him, women issues were published in 121 reports, constituting 1.2% of the total reports in The Guardian, The Punch, ThisDay, Vanguard, Nigerian Tribune, Daily Trust, Daily Sun, Blue Print, The Cable, Premium Times, The Nation and Leadership monitored by IPC.

Mr. Arogundade lamented that some of the news reports focused on female personalities rather than on electoral values, pointing out that women’s views were also largely missing in interviews.

He opined that this remains an unwelcome development, noting that the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage requires the media to give candidates vying for political offices, irrespective of political parties or gender, equitable coverage.

His words: “Indeed the Nigerian media code of election coverage (revised edition 2018) in Section 1 dealing with equitable access imposes the following responsibilities on media organizations. A media organization shall, as a matter of deliberate editorial policy, target under-represented groups especially women, youths, persons living with disabilities and rural dwellers in the coverage of electoral processes;

“A media organization shall consciously reflect the views and perspectives of women, youths, persons living with disabilities and rural dwellers in electoral reports. Also in section 2 dealing with professionalism and social responsibility, the code provides as follows” He stressed.

Mr. Arogundade therefore explain that the workshop is designed to enlighten the participants on creative approaches towards getting the desired media visibility, with the understanding that such will also facilitate women success at the polls and to see  many female candidates getting elected into various political offices come 2019.

He urged the participants to make the best use of the opportunity while expressing his gratitude to the European Union whose support has made the workshop possible and the facilitators who are experts with vast experience in the media for making out time to be part of this training.

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