By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has commended the media for their role as “life-saving trumpet” on the issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other challenges of women and children in our society.
The Country Vice President/President of FIDA Nigeria, Mrs Amina Susanah Agbaje gave the commendation at a media parley held in Abuja on Tuesday ahead of FIDA’s annual General conference slated for 23rd to 26th November 2022.
Sundiata Post reports that the theme of the media parley is: MEDIA: THE LIFE SAVING TRUMPET OF THE VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE SOCIETY”.
The FIDA president who reminded that without the work of the media in our society, most challenges of women and children will not have been brought to the lamplight let alone receiving positive attention, stressed that some of the areas the media through its work has served as a life saving trumpet are:
i) Women suffering under the yoke and burden of negative and harmful cultural practices such as Patriarchy, female genital mutilation, female disinheritance, etc. The history of the struggle to end female genital mutilation in Nigeria will not be complete without a chapter on the role of the media.
ii) Sexual and gender based violence.
The culture of silence particularly in rape and sexual assault cases has reduced drastically because of the media.
Rape and other sexual offences have received a lot of positive attention leading to the promulgation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 and it’s further domestication in almost all the States in the country.
In her words, other areas the work of media has served as a life saving trumpet includes:
iii) Women Political Participation.
Media engagement has promoted the political participation of a lot of women.
iv) The non passage of gender sensitive bills at the parliament.
She recalled that some gender bills suffered serious set backs on the floor of the parliament and the subsequent struggle of women which received massive media coverage led to reversal of positions by our Representatives on some of the bills. She therefore highlighted that the struggle for women and children protection in Nigeria can not be complete without the media. She regarded this humanistic journalism.
v) In general, the media has helped in causing the positive change of negative cultural norms.
vi) The Media has also drawn attention to abuses leading to arrest and prosecution of offenders, she noted.
Mrs Agbaje said that the essence of the conversation is to tease out the new strategies for dealing with issues that affect the right of women and children living with disability. She said the take away is to think out of the box, move away from the old order of doing things as well as come together as different organisations that are dealing with issues of women and children, particularly in partnership with the media.
The Country Vice President said that since life is changing and the world is dynamic, FIDA must adapt to these changes if it must meet up with the demand that they have on their issues.
Sundiata Post recalls that the International Federation of Women Lawyers is a non governmental and not for profit organization that sets it’s mine on the promotion, protection and defense of the vulnerable members of the society, talking about women, children and persons living with disabilities.
Over the years, FIDA has performed this responsibilities to the best of it’s abilities with the best cooperation of partners both locally and internationally.