ActionAid tasks stakeholders, security agencies on safety of women journalists

ActionAid Nigeria has called on all relevant stakeholders and security agencies to take action in ending impunity and ensuring the safety and protection of journalists, especially women.

The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, stated this at the just concluded National Media Virtual Roundtable on Actioning Safety and Protection of Women Journalists in Nigeria: Reflections and Recommendations organised by ActionAid Nigeria in commemoration of 2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. 

According to her, government and private media houses needs to be sensitive towards these issues and create a gender friendly environment for all.

She emphasized that ActionAid Nigeria will continue to advocate for and stand with journalists to tackle issues and attacks leveled against them and employ journalists to always be on the lookout for each other.

The Programme Director Daily Trust foundation Theophilus Abbah in his keynote address said the security of journalists should be crucial as they play a vital role in the society and so they should be protected rather than being attacked.

He said legal and ethical frame work should be put in place to frown against any form of discrimination against journalists and law enforcement and security agencies should be enlightened on how to relate with journalists especial the women.

The panelists; president Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Ladi Bala, Team lead Women in Media Development Initiative (WIMDI) Omolola Oladimeji  and a senior correspondent of Arise News Oba Adeoye unanimously agreed that the safety of the work environment for journalist cannot be over emphasized.

In a joint communique issued at the end of the National Media Virtual Roundtable,stated that the  harassment and impunity against journalists especially sexual harassment of female journalists will not end untilperpetrators are investigated and punished.
“Networking and solidarity building are required amongst journalists for strategic advocacy and to counter threats of violence and crimes against journalists, particularly women, towards protecting freedom of expression for all.
“Police or security operatives’ invitation of journalists on the basis of news reports is a form of harassment. There are ways to address concerns regarding published stories. Ratherthan have security agencies arrest journalists, they should write to the media organisations and provide their own side of the story,”the communique read.