A paper presented at a
one day public lecture to mark international women’s day for centre and gender studies (CCGS) University of Port Harcourt in collaboration with Nigeria Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ) Rivers State on 31st” March 2016 by Okonkwo – Ogabu Lilian, chairman Nigeria Association of Women Journalist (NA WOJ) Rivers State.
Introduction:-In September, 20 15, all member states of the United Nations Organisation unanimously approved new development goals – 17 in
number, which aims to end poverty, promote shared economic prosperity, social development and environmental protection for all in 2030. The goals are a build up on the millennium development goals of 2000 and it is hoped that it will succeed where the previous one failed. Fellow Nigerian women and our male supporters, we have been given another chance to better the lot of women in Nigeria. It is a call for us to work assiduously within the next fourteen years especially with respect to SDG 5 (gender equality) because on it lies our success so that by 2030, we will be counting our blessings.
Role Of Mass Media In Empowerment Of Women
The objective of this presentation is to enhance the empowerment of women through mass media. A quote from former UN secretary general Kofi Annan says “there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”.
Hence it is undoubtedly true that empowerment of women can be made possible by education through the mass media. Mass media has played a vital role in empowerment of women. It has reached out to larger audiences through print, radio, television, cinema and internet. Life today is conditioned by the mass media. It has molded public opinion of the masses. Although it has not totally changed the traditionally oriented attitudes of the millions of Nigerians towards the women therefore aluta continua and by the grace or God victory acceta.
Classification Of Empowerment
I.Psychological empowerment: the focus is on growth and development of women. Self actualisation refers to an individual’s need to develop his/her potentialities, in other words, to do what he or she is capable of doing. This empowerment has its goal in the self actualization in which the innate potentials and talents are given ample opportunities to grow.
2. Sociological Empowerment
The communication within the group and between the groups empowers women. Print and electronic media help women to communicate their needs. Achieving mature thought requires achieving mature use of language. In this area, the media plays a crucial role in the empowerment of women by creating awareness among the people to shed the feudalistic mindset that denigrated women. With constant media awareness, true liberation will be a reality.
3. Economic Empowerment
More women than men live in poverty. there is even a popular saying that poverty wears the face of a women. Economic disparities persist partly because much of the unpaid work within families and communities falls in the shoulders of women and because they face discrimination in the
economic sphere. Economic empowerment of women is possible only when financial independence is achieved, when they acquire life skills to
earn their livelihood through entrepreneurship which is the future of the modern society. Empowerment of women entrepreneur is a new matter for development of economy. Presently the Nigeria government is talking about diversi fication from oil to other sector, like Agriculture. Women should be empowered in this area. The rural farmer should be empowered financially and technologically and by so doing will be empowered economically.
4. Philosophical Empowerment.
Philosophical empowerment is about the need of women to have a world outlook, a system of personal values and faith. personal values give a women strength and fortitude in time of crisis.
a.Individual: A woman as an individual has a philosophy of life, a set of standard ideals which are based on the principles that she has chosen as being acceptable to her. Philosophy influences the individuals life, it is a particular way of looking at things.
b.Fellowship:- A networking of women with the same or similar world outlook is called fellowship. In this group individual identity is out shadowed by group identity. In women empowerment, fellowship plays an important role.
c. The Mass:- This is a larger group where a woman identifies herself to be. Individuality is totally lost in the mass. It can be a religious, linguistic or regional group. The media appeal to this segment or the society. A women may identify herself to belong to a system of belief or ideology.
5.Human Rights Education Empowerment:- To be made aware of the rights and responsibilities. It is an empowerment through human rights education. About two thirds of the illiterate adults in the world are female. Law relating to the protection of women from domestic violence is an important milestone. Domestic violence is a human rights issue and serious deterrent to development.
6.Political Empowerment:- Social and legal institutions still do not guarantee women equality in basic legal and human rights, in access or control of land or other resources, in employment and earning as well as social and political participation. Law against domestic violence is often not enforced on behalf of women. Little wonder the gender equality bill was thrown out.
7.Reproductive Health:- Women for both physiological and social reasons are more vulnerable than men to reproductive health problems, including maternal mortality and morbidity. These represent a major but preventable cause of death and disability for women in developing countries. Failure to provide information, services and conditions to help women protect their reproduction health therefore constitutes gender based discrimination and a violation of women’s rights to health and life. Health is wealth, there is need for women to be empowered health wise in other for them to achieve full potentials.
8.Women And Mass Media: In the past, women were not in the field of journalism whereas now they are taking active role in all.
No wonder, empowerment experience has shown that addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment requires strategic interventions at all levels of mass media programming and policy making. Even though discrimination and exploitation of women are global phenomena, their consequences are more tragic in some parts of the globe particularly in the under developed countries where ignorance, deprivation of the basis necessities of life are high.
9.Conclusion: The potential of mass media for the empowerment and emancipation of women from obscurantist cannot be over emphasised. For us as female journalist whose social responsibility it is to bring these negative issues to bear and to speak out against it, we shall not rest until we achieve the desired positive change.
A paper presented at a