- Women have been challenged to speak up and speak out in issues of security, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in the country
- The challenge was given to the women by some peace and security experts during a workshop in Abuja
- According to the experts, women have for a long time been relegated in the back when it comes to issues that concern them
A security and conflict expert, Senator Iroegbu has decried the constant depiction of women as victims in situations of conflict rather than key players in its resolution and peacebuilding.
Iroegbu while speaking to Legit.ng said the role of women in resolving conflict situations and building peace in communities are undermined.
Giving an instance in the Nigerian media, Iroegbu said that the media landscape is a male-dominated ecosystem.
Women relegated in issues of security and peacebuilding
He said that even though there are numerous women, well represented in the media, these women are mostly found in the lower and middle rungs of the industry with me dominating top roles like editors, managers and media owners.
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He warned that the patriarchial dominance which influences the framing of editorial reportage and media content has also suppressed the voices of women in issues of conflict, security and peacebuilding.
Iroegbu, who served as a facilitator in a two-day workshop themed; ‘Media and the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Resolution in Nigeria', also said that there is a need to amplify the voices of women in peace and security.
The workshop organised by the West Africa Network For Peacebuilding (WANEP) in collaboration with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) was supported by Global Affairs Canada.
Also, speaking at the workshop, Toun Okewale, the chief executive officer, Women Radio, said women taking the back seat in media engagement is a norm that must be tackled from the root.
Okawale there are 625 media organisations in Nigeria and men are occupying 84% of the workforce.
She added that four out of every expert interviewed on issues of security, conflict and peacebuilding are men with 74% of news sources also centred on the male gender.
Drawing examples from most of the dailies shared during the workshop, Okawale said most of the issues or content seen in newspapers focuses on men with little or nothing about women.
“This supremacy by men have defined reportage, affecting the way issues are treated. Media look promising yet stereotypical, we need deliberate actions to create a gender shift because patriarchy is in the lead."
“The issues of patriarchy cannot be overemphasized. Women have been battered for so long. We need to build capacity, create awareness, but also make men know that they need to be more sensitive to issues of women."
“Patriarchy is tyranny, it is real, it is in the media and this is not fit for democracy, few positions in the media with a very small percentage of women. Men most times take decisions without engaging women, even though these decisions mainly, directly affects women.”
Women as game-changers in contributing to peace and security in the nation
She further urged media personnel to go to the field and encourage women to speak up and speak out on issues that concern the female gender on security, conflict and peacebuilding.
Also speaking, Patience Obaulo, the senior programmes officer of WANEP said there is an urgent need to increase the national and local capacities of media practitioners in the country.
She said that these would help integrate some high-level gender-responsive analysis in reporting issues of women as game changers in conflict and security matters.
She also said that it is important for the media to make a conscious effort in enlightening the female gender while creating awareness of the role of women in peace and security resolutions in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said that open grazing is the root cause of conflict and agitations in Nigeria.
The governor urged the federal government to abandon its plan of approving open grazing and adopt ranching.
He also said that the federal government has failed to address the issue of farmers and herders conflict across the country.
Also, the Katsina emirate has banned open grazing and enforced strict strict compliance to the new state laws.
The emirate council said that the new policy would come into effect immediately to prevent the growing tension in the state due to the relationship between farmers and herders.
The decision of the Katsina emirate was made public on Wednesday, August 4, by one of its official, Alhaji Abdu Iliyasu.