The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) on Thursday advocated for equal access to opportunity for women to achieve equity and gender balance in the society.
Ladi Bala, National President of NAWOJ, made the call in her opening remarks at a 3-day workshop on ‘Gender-Sensitive Reporting for Female Journalists’ in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.
The NAWOJ President noted that female journalists were often exposed to danger and intimidated in the course of carrying out their lawful duties of rendering accurate accounts of happenings in the society.
She explained that the association has prioritised the capacity enhancement of its members, to equip them to perform the duties more effectively.
Bala said that NAWOJ remains committed to a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, built on the principle of equity and fairness to all citizens, and advocated for the improvement in the security architecture in the country.
She applauded the Federal Government for the appointment of the new Service Chiefs, in response to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, adding that women journalists have embarked on prayers seeking God’s intervention in the security challenges facing the country.
“We are committed to a peaceful and united country. We cannot even contemplate another war because it will simply destabilise the entire African continent, we already have internally displaced persons among us, so where do we go?
“We have, in addition to mounting pressures on the Federal Government, called on our members to embark on prayers and we are impressed at the efforts by the government in addressing the security challenges and we are hopeful that God is answering our prayers”, Bala said.
In her welcome remarks, Maria Olodi-Osuma, Chairperson of the Bayelsa chapter of NAWOJ, commended the national executive of the association for prioritising training of female journalists in Bayelsa.
She urged participants to avail themselves of the opportunities presented by the workshop to improve their skills and competencies.
Also speaking, Jane Yaweh, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Information advised female journalists to take their motherly roles seriously and embrace humility, to ensure peace and stability in their families and to involve God in their work.
She said that her experience had shown that humility and Godliness pay off in the long run.
Also, Emeka Okpalla, General Manager, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Yenagoa, urged women journalists to influence women whose attitude often brought disrepute to the female gender.
“I am a firm believer in the capacity of women and we have several good examples like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Margaret Ekpo, late Prof. Dora Akunyili, but these examples remain in the minority.
“I urge you women journalists to use your profession to get majority of women to emulate these shining examples because the country would be a better place if we have good women in strategic places,” Okpala said.
Samuel Numonengi, Chairman of Bayelsa Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, commended the association for the training which he described as fundamental to journalism practice.