By Chioma Ndife
Coalition of Eastern Non-government Organizations (CENGO’s) in collaboration with Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) and Amplify Change has organized a one day training for Media Practitioners in Anambra State.
Media Practitioners during the one day training and roundtable discussion held on Monday, September 3, 2018 at East End Suits, Awka were called upon to increase the campaign on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHRs) as well as against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Fides gathered that the programme was geared towards equipping reporters and media managers with requisite skills to grapple with challenges of reporting gender-based violence in such a way that does not perpetuate gender stereotype but inform and encourage public debate.
In a welcome remark, the Executive Director of CIRDDOC/National Coordinator of CENGOS, Ralchukwu Obioha disclosed that CENGOS and CIRDDOC were currently implementing a project titled: Building Bridges to End Gender-Based Violence and Increase Young People’s Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information and Services. She noted that the groups, through their activities, hopes to create an enabling environment for marginalized groups. She expressed conviction that the activities of the media can provide greater analysis and understanding of the psychologies of GBV in a way that would improve societal understanding of the actions and reactions of survivors and perpetrators.
Speaking at the occasion, the state coordinator, Prof. Mercy Anaegbogu, noted that the training would mark the beginning of total elimination of GBV in Anambra State. She revealed the various activities of CENGOS in Anambra State, saying that the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) signed by the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano had assisted the group to achieve some of its objectives.
In a paper titled: Understanding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, (SRHRs) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the lead facilitator, Barr. Mrs. Iruka Nwokedi, advised stakeholders, particularly journalists, to disseminate information on GBV and SRHR issues on their different platforms in a bid to create awareness through their news, features and broadcast programmes.
She beckoned on the government, the Church and larger society to take a second look at the constraints of Reproductive Health Right and work towards reducing them. She emphasized the need for non-governmental organizations and community based organization to intensify their efforts in creating awareness on the issues of Reproductive Health Rights.
Barr. Nwokedi opined that Sexual and Reproductive Rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, hence the need to, not only protect women’s sexual rights but also that of men too.
Presenting a paper on Reporting-Gender Violence (GBV), a veteran broadcaster and Executive Director of Women for Information Network (WINET), Mrs. Miriam Menkiti stressed the need to enhance the quality of reporting GBV by instilling ethical principles that would make news stories on Gender-Based Violence visible in media houses in Anambra State.