By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone has called for collaboration between the university and the media in drive to put the institution among the first two hundred universities in the world.
Prof Esimone made the call while declaring open, a workshop for journalists on women and gender reporting organized by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) in Awka.
Prof Esimone said the University’s goal to be ranked among the leading Universities in the world cannot be achieved without the support of the media, a reason he said the university must ensure an active collaboration with the media, to help sell the vision of the University to the world.
Delivering her lecture at the workshop, a foremost Professor of mass communication and Director, UNIZIK FM, Stella Okunna says the media have the primary responsibility of closing the wide margin between men’s dominace in elective and appointive positions and women’s gross underrepresentation in Nigeria.
Prof Okunna, ACU grant awardee who spoke on the theme, “Enhancing Women’s Participation in Politics and Visibility in Leadership”, Professor Okunna hinged her discussion on the saying that the media is the oxygen of democracy, thus stated the important roles they will play in creating the visibility of women in leadership positions.
Using Anambra as a case study, the communication scholar said that despite that statistics show that there is a minor disparity between the population of men and women and that Anambra women are highly educated, men still dominate political positions in the state.
Another resource person and gender scholar, Dr Chinedu Ekwealor of the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, called on members of the press to step up their action in the way they report women in politics and help to change the perception about women.
The target of the workshop was to train journalists on enhancing women’s participation in politics, create a visibility for women in leadership positions and influence gender reportage in the media.
The workshop is part of the requirements for the fulfillment of the Association of Commonwealth Universities’ gender programme grant won by Professor Okunna.
The workshop was attended by Journalists in print, broadcast, campus media organizations, and other multimedia channels led by the Anambra State Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Sir Emma Ifesinachi.
Others present at the event include the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, the Head, Department of Mass Communication UNIZIK , Professor Chinwe Uzochukwu and the Director of News and Current Affairs Department, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Mr Gab Okpaleze.