VOA, NAWOJ partner on gender, health reportage


The Voice of America (VOA) on Tuesday said it would support the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in building capacity on gender reporting and provide technical support in promoting gender issues.
Ms Amanda Bennett, Director VOA, disclosed this during a round table meeting at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) National Secretariat in Abuja.
Bennett said the VOA was proud to associate and promote gender based issues in Nigeria and around the world.
“We are really passionate and interested in supporting and helping women grow in their careers around the world, and helping the younger generation learn from our expertise and experiences.
“It is part of our mission to support women and we are committed in building their capacity in health and gender reporting, giving women a voice and getting them into the discourse.
“Am proud to say that VOA is one of the major news organisations in the world in which the top three positions are occupied by women, all in their sixties,’’ she said.
Bennett disclosed that VOA would commence a broadcasting programme in Nigeria called `Our Voices’ in October which would be hosted by four African women.
She said it would be a unique programme in Africa, a platform where women would talk to each other and discuss major issues around the world and how it affects women participation.
Bennet encouraged women journalists to always speak up, ask for anything they desire, never to worry about their children in building their career while encouraging men to support the women.
Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, the President of NAWOJ, acknowledged the impact of VOA in Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country.
Omowole noted that northern women have benefited immensely from VOA broadcast in Hausa language, which had broaden their horizon and scope as well as encouraged them in their local communities.
She appreciated the organisation for its commitment while requesting that it enlarge its scope in reaching out to other communities, such as the Igbo and Yoruba speaking communities.
The NAWOJ president further sought for collaboration in capacity building for women journalists, learning practical ways of writing development stories in a developing society such as health issues, empowerment and poverty.
She added that such exchange programmes would benefit both VOA and NAWOJ in building the capacity of both the women and men journalists through training, mentoring and reporting issues that affect both countries.
Omowole also called for partnership to build a radio studio at the NUJ training institute under construction, noting that radio is the fastest medium to reach out to people in a developing society.
The President, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Odusile Abdulwaheed, appreciated the VOA for its immense contribution to Nigerian and to the northern communities.
Abdulwaheed said the media in Nigeria was the best in Africa, adding that the NUJ is a platform that supports other African countries to build their media and journalism skills.
He however urged VOA to collaborate with NAWOJ as such would elevate the issues that concern women as well as build their capacity in various spheres of life in the society.
NAN reports that the VOA reaches 68 million Africans every week on television, radio and online in several African languages. (NAN)

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