West Africa Network for Peacebuilding trains Nigerian journalists on reporting women in conflict situation

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in partnership with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) with support from Global Affairs Canada, Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, have trained 35 Nigerian journalists on  understanding  the  Women,  Peace  and Security (WPS) Resolutions.

Penpushing reports that, the 2- day training had in attendance participants drawn from the radio, prints and online media across the country, held between 10th and 11th October, 2022, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

The National Network Coordinator, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Bridget Osakwe in her welcome address said the training is aimed at raising national and local journalists’ awareness on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions and their role in implementing them.

Penpushing further reports that, Osakwe maintained that for any meaningful increase in women participation in policies and decision making, and peacebuilding in the country, the media as the driver must be actively involved.

The Network Coordinator added that since the role of the media in effecting change cannot be over-emphasised, it is therefore imperative of the media to develop a strategic communication plan towards effectively implementing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in the country.

Penpushing also reports that, Professor Patricia Donli, a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri and Executive Director of Gender Equality, Peace and Development Centre and Zonal Coordinator Gender and Constitutional Reform Network (GECORN), in her lecture, laments the growing increase of sodomy in the North East as a result of the Boko Haram emergence.

“There is increase in sodomy against boys in Borno state, one research we did recently for an organisation called PO1, survival focus policing where we asked people the various type of Gender Based Violence that operate in their places, everybody agreed that sodomy against boys is actually on the increase and something needs to be done about it’, she said.

“Though I don’t have the actual figure or statistics but the perception of the people who were interviewed was that it is on the increase. With regards to the girls, we have a lot of rapes, from about 5 years old, rape by elderly people, incest where parents are sleeping with their daughters, raping women living in brothels, who were forced into prostitutions because they are internally displaced persons’, Donli stated.

“We have worked with a group of them when their brothel was demolished, we worked with them to build their capacity to be able to mobilise, empowered them with money and grant for businesses after training. So what we do now was to form a movement which is call Barka De Zua Girls”, she stated

Penpushing reports that, the lecturer however, called on the media as agenda setting agents to fill the gap in the concerns raised, pointing out that the commitment of the media is not good enough, as being noticed


“That is another gap we noticed as a huge concern. For me I am not satisfy with the amount of time and commitment by the media is not good. When we were growing up, the journalists was seen as a moral compass of the society, whatever they say was seen as the Bible for the society’.

‘But this days if you pick one paper, it is assumed that you have read all the papers, it is just the same stories you find in them, they are just press statements everywhere, you could see different headlines but same storyline and I started wondering where then is the value of journalism that we knew in those days as the conscience of the nation’

‘And I don’t see the media playing those roles now, you people need to look inward to what has really change from the time the media was accorded the most important position as the fourth estate of the realm. People were afraid of the journalists because they spoke the truth to authorities and whatever they say was believed to be the truth.

“What has happened between that era and now, I think the media need re-orientations, they must look for ways of educating the people even though we know that they must please their owners first, it is about educating the people, creating awareness and information’.

Penpushing further reports that, other speakers at the event include, Margaret Nwagbo, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Nigeria Board Representative, South East, Patience Ikpeh Obaulo, Senator Iroebu, while the duo of Katrina Laclerc and Mavic Cabrera-Balleza of the GNWP spoke from DR Congo and Canada respectively.

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