Int’l Womens Day: Group Partners Media Practitioners On Women Issues

By Nofisat Marindoti

A foremost women body in Nigeria, Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation has formed a collaboration with media Organisations to ensure issues concerning women folks enjoy media prominence.

This is with a view to pushing such issues to the front burner of national discourse via adequate reportage and proper analyses of women affairs.

Speaking at a media seminar organised by the Professionals, an organ of Al Mu’minaat, a senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper, Tajudeen Adebanjo urged women to be more involved in non Governmental Organisations and human right activities to achieve their aims.

“You must carve a niche for yourselves and become a points of reference whenever issues of public concerns regarding women and in fact, general populace are brought to the broadcast medium for discuss.

“I also urge you (women) to brace up to fight your cause by making use of social media strength to present your grievances on issues by simply commenting on Facebook, Twitter handle or even the WhatsApp. It is high time you stopped expecting men to fight your cause for you.”

Adebanjo cited the issue of Firdaus Amasa as an infringement on the human rights of women but which did not enjoy women’s massive support because of religious bigotry and sectionalism.

“It could happen to your younger ones or your daughter’s who want to read Law in Nigeria in the future. So, why don’t you be passionate and speak up for these rights,” he said.

In his address, a seasoned journalist an a prominent writer, Elder Yinka Salaam called on women organisations to invest in the media to push their cause and pursue their cases to achieve their goals.

He said it was high time they corrected the erroneous belief that investing in the Media and Public Relations is a waste or an unworthy venture.

Salaam said the Media or Public Relations may not give immediate cash, but, it has the potentials to mobilise and win the people’s hearts and their wealth eventually.

“It is in recognition of power of the media that real politicians, big corporations and organizations, profitable or charitable, invest heavily in the media and will continue to, even when they run at loss,

“What better wealth can an organisation possess than the human resources? It is the same reason government, politicians and multinational companies invest heavily in the media and the same reason enjoy better media coverage and media mention today. We are all living witnesses that it really pays off for them,”” he stated.

The guest speaker appealed to the leaders of the various organizations, especially religious groups like Al Mu’minaat to take a paradigm shift from traditional preachings on morality and begin to give priority to less expensive but useful public or social services as: traffic control, portholes filling, clearing of highway bushes to allow road users see ahead, clearly, drainage clearing, facilitation/donation of wells or boreholes, construction of directional signposts, running extra-mural classes/adult literacy cum Quranic centres, regular visitation to hospitals, prison yards, and orphanage homes, media tour among others.

The Coordinator of The Professionals, Alhaja Jelilat Abdul-Hamed also noted that the entire life of Prophet Muhammad and his relationship with people was characterised by effective personal and public relations and his use of media was unrivalled.

“The rise of Islam came through conveying the message via the contemporary medium available. The life and times of the our Prophet portrays how the people of Makkah were invited to Islam by moral and pious conducts of the Prophet and his rightly guided followers.

“The melodious and inspiring recitation of the Qur’an also changed the hearts of even the fiercest opponents as many mediums were used to make the non-believers aware of the truth of the divine message. The Prophet (SAW) also sent men on horsebark to the rulers and kings of the neighbouring lands with scripts declaring his prophethood and inviting them to Islam.”

The Coordinator who remarked that Prophet Muhammad set a standard in Public Relations and the effective use of the media, stressed that until Muslims follow the prophetic footsteps in his best PR ever known and cultivate the habit of effective media management, it would be difficult for them to achieve their Daw’ah objectives.

How Game Of Thrones Changed My Feminism- Emilia Clarke And Sophie Turner

Stars from the popular TV series Games Of Thrones, Emilia Clarke and Sophie Turner who played  Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark, respectively  in celebration of the International Women’s Day went both penned thoughtful, intelligent essays about their feminism online.

And perhaps most interestingly, both women mentioned how controversially sexual moments involving their characters inspired them to become the women’s rights advocates they are today. Clarke, began by admitting that, thanks to her upbringing in an “equal earning, equally managed household” that treated her the same as her brother, she didn’t realize until “much later” how much feminism is needed.

She also admitted that there are days she feels like a “guilty feminist” whose “understanding of the bigger issues of inequality aren’t enough.” But since she now has a platform, and has played multiple characters who “have given me an insight into what it feels like to be a woman who stands up to inequality and hate,”

Turner has arguably dealt with even more daunting press attention than Clarke has, because Sansa Stark was raped. The “huge reaction” to this Season 5 scene “shocked” Turner, but it also inspired her to give back. After doing some research, Turner became involved with Women for Women International, which helps women in war-torn countries (Turner visited their program in Rwanda) rebuild their lives.

“At first I was angry,” Turner wrote of the backlash to her scene. “I was angry that there is such a taboo surrounding rape and that depicting it on screen was seen as vulgar. Sexual violence happens every day all around the world and yet for that to be represented on television, when other forms of violence are so often represented and more importantly, accepted and even welcomed in some cases, was considered disgusting instead of important. It made me think: why such a taboo?”

Buhari Canvasses Gender Equality

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has challenged governments at all levels to rise to the global challenge of ensuring gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Mrs Buhari gave the challenge in her message to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.

She appealed all stakeholders to rise to the global challenge of ensuring the achievement of the goals in line with the objective of sustainable development goals.

The Director of Information, Office of the wife of the President, Mr Suleiman Haruna, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that Mrs Buhari congratulated the Nigerian women and women all over the world on the event.

She reaffirmed her commitment to the cause of women through her initiative, “Future Assured”. .

According to her, the event has provided yet another opportunity to reflect on the condition of women both at the global arena and national level with a view to providing a way forward for the betterment of the Nigerian women.

“Today is a historic day in the struggle for the uplift Women across the continents.

“I recall with happiness the series of steps taken at different levels to drive attention to the plight of women in the areas of health, education and opportunities in the scheme of things.

“However it is my wish therefore to felicitate with fellow Nigerian women and women all over the world on this very memorable and important day,’’ she added.

The wife of the president also urged the women not to be discouraged by the seeming socio-economic challenges they had been experiencing in their journey towards greatness in the society.

He said: “As you may be aware, records have shown that women are the most vulnerable and poorest group globally.

“In Nigeria, this gap exists as a result of socio-economic and other factors. Despite these challenges that women face in their journey, however, they must not be deterred as they are the fountain of wisdom and endurance.’’

International Women’s Day: @SpeakerDogara Promises Women Friendly Legislation

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon, Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerian women of his dedication and that of the Eighth House to ensuring that their needs are reflected in the ongoing constitution review process.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker said that the International Women’s Day is not just a day set aside globally to celebrate women, but to also reflect on the challenges they face, and implement workable solutions towards solving them.

“Women make up over half of Nigeria’s population, and their contribution to sustaining democracy has been very meaningful. According to the nation’s electoral umpire, INEC, women vote in larger numbers than their male counterparts and we therefore owe it as a duty to our women to neither trivialize nor ignore their challenges”, he said.

The Speaker further said that issues such as poverty and lack of education, which affect women more, are also of deep concern to the House, and that the Eighth Assembly would work assiduously towards enacting legislation which would aid in correcting the situation.

“The representation of women in government leaves a lot to be desired, but on our part, the women in the House hold key positions in their respective committees and this is just one step towards demonstrating that indeed, the Eighth House does not subscribe to gender bias and acknowledges the strength in not just the women who are Members, but in Nigerian women as a whole.”

The Speaker then called on political parties to enact policies which would enhance the participation of women in politics, so that equitable representation may be achieved in the next election cycle.