By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Oyo State Chairperson of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Comrade Jadesola Ajibola on Wednesday asked journalists in the state to rise up and join in the crusade to end harmful practices against women and children.
Comrade Ajimobi made the call in Ibadan while speaking at a two day workshop on Gender Based Reporting holding at Grand Serene hotel, Iyaganku quarters organized by NAWOJ in collaboration with the Oyo state government.
The NAWOJ Chairperson emphasized that the time has come for “us to leave our differences and stand up for women, the boy and girl children today; their future lies in our hands. Let’s support advocacy for change in attitudes of perpetrators and end harmful practices against women and children.”
Comrade Jadesola Ajibola stressed that Gender-Based Violence (GBV), occurs in every region of the world, saying, “it is the violation of basic rights that prevents (especially) female gender from exercising their other economic and political rights. Gender-based violence is neither inevitable nor acceptable. “
She maintained that as relevant stakeholders who at different times and situation knew and understood the place of Gender-Based Violence either by personal and or borrowed experiences, “Oyo NAWOJ Executive realized the need to supports partners to develop and implement the required legal and policy frameworks to combat gender-based violence, through media reportage by bringing stakeholders together on gender issues.”
According to the NAWOJ Chairperson, the media (print, broadcast, social) have over the years created the platform to bring people’s attention to such cases. but, the need to foster a better rapport and working relationship with stakeholders around GBV and the media stares all of us in the face, hence the need for this workshop.”
The Oyo state NAWOJ Chairperson added that “some of the issues the workshop hopes to address include: improving access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence, ending impunity for perpetrators and providing victims with multi-sectoral support and services, among others.”
“Beyond lamentations, cries and bad-blood, tribal and gender sentiments that follows report on issues of child abuse, violence against women etc, I on behalf of other Women Journalists in the state believes the time has come for us to think forward and chat a course on how best to tame the illicit act and give every child and person the right sense of belonging in the stead of been shortchanged, deprived or abused on the basis of their sex/gender.”
Speaking further, the NAWOJ Chairperson pointed out that the focus of the workshop, ” is to allow all participants and stakeholders around GBV to pour out their minds, especially their areas of challenges hindering better collaboration with other agencies and how to foster a way forward in the interest of the thousands of people who are undergoing abuse in the corners of their room.”
Emphasizing that Gender Based Violence “is a societal issue that we all must face headlong to address because no stakeholder can be an island on this matter”, she said,” It’s a collective responsibility and we must put heads together to help victims and expose perpetrators.”
“As you may be aware, a good number of perpetrators often go unpunished, the question is why? Does it mean that our society allows perpetrators to escape punishment or we overlook them? My years of reporting the issue revealed that the fear of discrimination of the victims is a key factor. It is for this reason that we all need to come together and chat a course forward in order to liberate Nigerians especially the most vulnerable group.”
In his goodwill message, the Oyo state NUJ Chairman, Comrade Adewumi Faniran lauded the state NAWOJ Chairperson for keeping the ground rolling since assumption office in November last year.
The NUJ urged all the relevant bodies and the stakeholders not to relent in their efforts at stemming Gender Based Violence in our society.
Other speakers at the workshop included Pastor Marcus William, Oyo state NMA Chairman, Dr Akin Sodipo, NUJ B zone Vice President, Comrade Cosmos Oni, NAWOJ B Zone, Vice President, Mrs Morenike Tony-Esan, Dr Walker among others.