Minister calls for stronger participation of women in governance

From Esther Akaa, Lafia

Women journalists in Nigeria have been urged to amplify women issues  with a view to increasing their  presence in government at all levels.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen gave the charge Saturday at the 10th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), held at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State.

Dame Tallen who was represented by a veteran broadcaster,  Mrs Moji Makanjuola, stressed the need for women to investigate issues that concern them, calling on female journalists to give visibility to female politicians, especially in the 2023 general election.

“Women must amplify their issues such as national investment issues and collaborate with past leaders to give visibility to female policiticians in 2023.

“Also, we must  increase our presence in government at all levels from the local up to national and ensure that  we produce the first female vice president of Nigeria in 2023,” she said.

She called on members of NAWOJ to increase their advocacy for gender equality and create safe spaces for women in all ramifications.

The Governor of Niger State, Dr Abubakar Sani Bello while declaring the conference open, tasked female journalists to take advantage of the new trends in technology in carrying out their professional duties.

Governor Bello who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, further urged incoming NAWOJ leaders to fight for the rights and privileges of women, irrespective of their social class, ethnic or cultural background.

“Journalism as a profession has come a long way. The doggedness, dedication, determination and resilience of the leadership of NAWOJ  will only be redeemed in the strategies of attaining a contemporary Nigeria.

“In the computer Nigeria setting, female journalists have the task of building a new Nigeria that will make the aspirations not only of the present but future generations. Sincerely, the female journalists should be more driven in the computer Nigeria. They should be up to date in knowledge and requisite  skills for the profession. We all need to catch up with the technology driven society of the 21st century,” he said.

He congratulated the leadership of the union and its extension, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), for upholding the ethics of journalism and urged them to sustain it.

On his part, the Mai-Yankanaya of Uke Chiefdom, Nasarawa State, Alh. Ahmed Abdullahi Hassan  commended the efforts of the association towards addressing gender based issues in the society and enjoined them to use moral values in their reportage to address insecurity.

Alh. Hassan further called on the National Assembly to ensure that  traditional institutions are given their rightful place in the constitution, even as he challenged the incoming leadership to build on the legacies of the past leaders for the growth and development of the association.

Earlier, in her valedictory speech, the out gone National President of NAWOJ, Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole revealed that NAWOJ under her watch successfully trained women journalists, especially in the North-east of Nigeria on gender sensitive reportage, adding that the association was working in collaboration with international organisations in building the capacity of women journalists in Nigeria.

She, therefore, charged the incoming officials of NAWOJ to build on the legacies of their predecessors, in order to move the union forward.

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