Beatrice Eyong, United Nations (UN) National Representative for Women in Nigeria and ECOWAS, instructed the media to intensify their efforts to ensure that reporting on women uses gender-sensitive language.

Eyong, at a two-day training for media executives and journalists held in Lagos, said it was imperative for the media to also promote the rights of women and children. The training on the theme: “Recognizing the role of the media as guardians of a democracy and essential stakeholders in sustaining the growth and development of democracy”, was organized by UN Women in partnership with Women Radio and supported by the Canadian government.

She urged the media to avoid negative portrayal of women and various unconscious nuances in their reporting, just as she stressed the need to include women in the country’s decision-making processes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to her, “it is unfortunate that many people mistakenly understand that discussions of gender equality mean that women become men, become recalcitrant towards their husbands, or even demean men and others. This is not the case.”

She stressed that gender equality is however important for peace and equitable development, adding that it could be used to provide solutions to the problem of poverty and other challenges facing society, especially in Africa. .

In her contribution, Women Radio 91.7 CEO Toun Okewale Sonaiya urged women to appeal to the media for more support and for more women to own traditional and new media organizations in a bid to balance the stories about women.

In her presentation, Eno Ede, Gender and Media Strategist, urged media operators to intentionally amplify women’s voices in a male-dominated society and balance their reporting, committing to reaching more women and adequately represent women.