United Nations seeks strong partnership with Nigeria media

The United Nations (UN) has called for strong partnership with the Nigeria media to advance its interventions for gender equality and women empowerment by bringing their issues to the front burner and amplify the voice of gender advocacy.

Penpushing reports that for women’s empowerment Resident Coordinator, United Nations (UN) Matthias Schmale made the call in his keynote address at the maiden edition of the United Nations (UN) Women Nigeria Media Partners Conference held in Abuja

The conference held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had in attendance Chief Executive Officer, Chief Editors, Journalists, heads of Civil Society Organisations and heads of agencies

Penpushing further reports that Schmale pointed out that the media has power similar to the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, hence, the media can hold policymakers and the government accountable and make demands that governments cannot ignore.

‘The power of the media to cause mass behavioural change cannot be over-emphasized. Our interventions and efforts to change social norms and harmful traditional practices cannot be achieved within SDG-proposed timelines if the media is not in the driver’s seat’, she said.

‘We believe that the media can bring women’s issues to the front burner and amplify the voice of gender advocacy for women’s empowerment. We believe that the media can help dismantle harmful traditions and social norms that impede equal opportunity, justice, and fairness and promote violence against women and girls.

‘The executive, legislative and judicial arms of the government will enforce gender-responsive laws if the media insists. Your power as media is limitless. Justice for survivors of gender-based violence will not be denied or delayed if the media closely monitors the judiciary’.

‘We believe that you have power. A power that is not elected and cannot be impeached. A power given to you by those who cling to their radio sets to listen to you bring them information; the power given by those who sit in front of the television or click on your websites; and by those who spend time flipping the pages of the newspaper’.

Penpushing also reports that Schmale explained that revolutions that overthrew governments were coordinated through the media recalled that this could be seen from the Libyan Revolution, The Arab Spring, and the Occupy Wall Street.

‘In Nigeria, we can channel the influence of the media to amplify the advocacy for equal opportunity and women’s empowerment. With the press behind us, we will make massive progress in breaking down barriers to gender equality, and more gender-based violence offenders will be put in jail’.

‘Media play a critical role in achieving Agenda 2030, which includes ensuring citizens are well-informed to enable them to form opinions based on facts. Please acknowledge and amplify women’s voices so that other women get motivation and support. Make society aware of women’s right to equal access to opportunities and provide information and interpretations to policymakers for formulating policies on local gender issues.

‘The UN is supporting the government of Nigeria in addressing its challenges and realising its development aspirations and transformative change. We cannot do this effectively without the support of the media. We need stronger partnerships, and the media is at the top of this need’.

‘Nigeria has the first African woman to lead the WTO; the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Amina Mohammed, is also a Nigerian woman. A third of bank CEOs are women, and Nigeria has the highest number of female representatives on boards of private sector organisations in Africa. The media needs to do more to profile many successful Nigerian women for the purpose of learning and motivating other women and dismantling unfavourable cultural perceptions.

‘Achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality – is capital intensive. The media can get the government to increase its budgetary allocation to women’s empowerment and insist on transparent budget planning and implementation’.

‘We are working with the government on gender-responsive budgeting; with the media, we can record massive success in this intervention. The one-stop centres for GBV survivors can only be sustained by adequate funds; your work will, to a large extent, mobilise resources for gender equality and women’s empowerment’.

Penpushing reports that Resident Coordinator, United Nations (UN) in the country added that the United Nations (UN), remain firmly committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment in achieving SDG 2030 targets, and will need the media to get this done.

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