Abuja – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)has urged media practitioners to be sensitive to gender issues in their reportage, especially during the forthcoming general elections.
Secretary of INEC, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, gave the advice in Abuja at a one day Workshop on Gender and Conflict/Sensitive Reporting in the Electoral Process, organised by the commission.
She said the workshop was designed to create awareness on the use of appropriate language in reporting gender in politics and how to handle sensitive situations.
“It is also aimed at imparting the necessary awareness for balanced reportage, provide equal and unbiased coverage, sensitise women and spur gender participation in politics’’.
Ogakwu said the commission relied on the media to effectively project gender issues relating to elections.
“The international best practices recognise that gender issues and issues related to youths and people with disabilities should be projected.
“I enjoin you to take into account these issues in the course of your work as we get into 2015 general elections.
Ogakwu urged the media organisations to balance their reports and ethically ensure that the tone, content and style of their reportage did not create tension but promote peace.
Dr Chris Iyimoga, INEC National Commissioner said the commission looked up to the media to provide balanced and equal opportunity for all genders in their reportage.
He said that this became imperative especially as the 2015 electioneering gathers momentum.
“In addition to sensitising media practitioners to gender issues, it is equally important to mitigate conflict in their reportage’’, he said.
He said this was necessary as the country was experiencing insecurity.
Iyimoga said peace building and conflict prevention with focus on violence-free elections in 2015 were very germane to the country’s development.
INEC’s Deputy Director of Gender, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu, said the commission’s primary