The Coalition of Eastern Non-Governmental Organization (CENGOS) in collaboration with Civil Development and Documentation centre (CIRDDOC) in it’s determination to eradicate Gender Based violence has organized a one (1) day Media-round-table and training for Media Practitioners on “Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHRs) ” held recently in Calabar.
In her welcome remark, the State Coordinator, Coalition of Eastern Non-Organizations, Dr. (Mrs.) RoseMary Ugbe said that the Media-Round-Table and Training was put together to help reporters and news managers to grapple with the challenges of reporting Gender Based violence in a way that it does not perpetuate stereotype but encourage public debates.
Dr. Ugbe stated that , Gender Based violence has become a very big problem in our society and is witness in the country and media practitioners should do everything possible to lend their voices to end Gender Violence in Nigeria.
She advised participants to utilize the knowledge gained to enhance effective service delivery.
In power point presentation on a Gender Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, the National Programme Officer Chief Edwin Usang said that, Gender Based violence involves men and women in which the female is usually the target and derived from unequal power relationship between men and women and this include; Rape, Battering, Female Genital Mutilation and child kidnapping.
He hinted that, the laws in Cross River State that prohibited Gender Based violence are; Laws to prohibit domestic violence against and maltreatment of widows, laws to prohibit girl child marriage and female circumcision and the Child Rights Law.
On Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Mr Usang defined it as an interpretation of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction and the rights are; The right to equality and non- discrimination, the right to information, the right to access to justice, remedies, and redress, the right to the highest attainable stand of health, including sexual health: with possibility of pleasurable, satisfying and safe sexual experience.
Presenting a paper on “Techniques for reporting Gender Based Violence” Professor Offiong Ani Offiong, a Professor of Linguistics and Communication, University of Calabar, commented that the media plays a vital role in raising awareness on Gender Based Violence, sets it’s the agenda which gives it the power to dictate what people see, hear as well as shape their attitude towards different aspects of life, adding that , media work should go beyond number of cases in news but should be able to give analytical and critical coverage. Community reporting should be encouraged to aid Gender Based violence and its should be don’t using more Nigerian Pidgin and local Nigeria languages when it come to reporting.
He said that when running media talks journalist should be very conscious if the time belt and should also be able to determine the age bracket of their audience or readers.
In reporting Gender Based cases, Professor Offiong, said that, journalist should apply ethical principle which guarantee the safety of Survivors, journalist should seek different Angles when reporting on Gender Based rather than merely relying on interviews with surviocases, Media outfit, journalist can raise public awareness around the issues and highlight existing gaps in service provisions and response whole acting as catalyst for wider discussion and debates around Gender based violence.