From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Education as a Vaccine (EVA) has trained female journalists on Climate change reporting to amplify the voices of women in climate change related issues for the growth and development of the country and the world at large.
At the two-day training tagged” Effective Climate Justice Journalism” held on Thursday and Friday in Abuja, the lead facilitator, Vivian Chime charged female journalists to amplify the voices of women through their reporting to guarantee that they are included in climate change conversations in order to proffer solutions to climate change-related issues in the country.
Chime, who is also a Climate Change Journalist and Africa Journalism Manager in her presentation titled ” Reporting Climate Change Through a Gender Lens: Creating our own narratives,” noted that it was important for journalists, particularly women journalists, to amplify the voices of women while also taking into account structural issues like power, authority, safety, health, confidence, and ageism gaps that unfairly represent women and adversely affect them during climate change crises.
According to her, in order to propose solutions to the effects of climate change on the society, climate change journalists should report on the various elements that impede and lessen women’s chances of becoming resilient throughout the period of climate change.
“Even at the local and International levels, we should look at what happened with the climate diplomacy; what are the policies that some of the countries are making and even policies by the United Nations that affect women; and how these policies are representative of women.
“In that way, journalists can come up with stories from different angles that would push for the right narratives about women.
“We have also noticed that women are underrepresented in the news and it would be interesting that journalists start writing these stories so that we can get the representation of women and climate scientists in Africa in the news,” she said.
She, therefore called on stakeholders at all levels to involve women in the decision making process in order to drive an innovative, sustainable and inclusive response to Climate change.
On her part, Programme Manager, Education as a Vaccine (EVA), Rumunse Obi, called on journalists to approach climate issues with a human angle perspective as well as report the climate adaptation issues aimed at informing the public on how to mitigate disasters as they occur in the society.
Speaking on the topic: “Knowledge And Experience Sharing on Climate Change And Gender Reporting” Obi noted that women and girls were at the frontline of climate change impacts, saying that their vulnerability can be reduced if women are included in the decision making process of government.
She, therefore called on female journalists to change the negative narratives about women and educate them on how they can advocate for climate justice as well as mitigate the effects of climate change in their communities.
In an interview with The Voice, one of the participants who is a multi-media journalist, Zainab Sani, said the training would spur her to do more impactful stories on climate change issues and how they affect people especially women.
“It is important that in talking about climate change issues, we should look at how it affects women. We should engage stakeholders and proffer solutions when the need arises to ensure that we achieve climate justice so that everyone affected by the climate crisis can be properly factored in when people are putting together climate solutions.
“It is also important that when we are talking about climate solutions, we should spotlight women leaders, women that are providing solutions and how they can come into policy making especially policies that are gender sensitive,” she added.
Earlier, the programmer officer of EVA, Sandra Jonathan, said the two-day training was organised by EVA and funded by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) as part of its implementation of the African Activists for Climate Justice Project in the country, adding that the training was for some selected journalists in Nasarawa, Niger, Benue States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The training was aimed at providing the journalists with the requisite knowledge on how to report women and girls issues relating to climate crises and also highlighting solutions on how to adapt to the changes as they occur in their communities,” she added.
The Voice reports that the training which was on effective climate justice journalism, featured group presentations and experience sharing on climate change across the selected states and Abuja.