‘Report Women: Make It Happen’ was the theme of a share-fair amongst journalists held on Friday 13 March 2015 to commemorate the ‘International Women’s Day’. The event was organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and its partner the Netherlands Embassy to contribute to improving the quality, quantum and perhaps impact of reportage on girls and women and to better mainstream gender into news reporting.
The forum brought together journalists and members of non-governmental organisations to reflect on the challenges facing Nigerian girls and women. The idea was to build the capacity of participants while lending a voice to the theme of the 2015 United Nations International Women’s Day – Make It Happen.
At the meeting, five journalists who were commissioned by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism to investigative and publish stories on girls and women issues ranging from widowhood, to Female Genital Mutilation and to Human Trafficking, had opportunity to share their experiences with colleagues.
The journalists, Simon Ateba of The News; Abiose Adams-Adelaja of International Centre for Investigative Reporting; Tosin Oladosu-Adebowale of World Pulse; Bamgbose Temiloluwa of Flair Nigeria and Isioma Madike of New Telegraph are among thirty-two reporters given small grants to do investigate reports under the report women project which started in 2014.
Participants at the Report Women: Make It Happen share-fair worked together to highlight strategies to improve and increase the reportage of girls and women in Nigeria and committed to doing same.
ABOUT THE REPORT WOMEN! PROJECT
Report Women!, a collaborative effort between the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the WSCIJ focuses on major issues of access and abuse, ranging from education, to health care, violence, and early marriage, among others. The project seeks to use the tool of investigative reporting to highlight these issues, even as it examines the role of religion in the girl child and woman’s rights trajectory.
It started in May 2014 with a one-month media monitoring of the reportage of girls and women in seven Nigerian newspapers. Shortly after, a stakeholders’ meeting and three investigative journalism trainings aimed at honing participants’ skills on the reportage of girls and women issues held in Lagos, Ekiti, Cross River and Abuja. These were followed by the administration of small grants to 32 journalists who investigated and wrote issue-based stories on girls and women. Some of these stories are available on probeng.org an investigative report website facilitated by the WSCIJ.
The Report Women project includes an award, the production of an investigative documentary, and the publication of a reporter’s resource guide on reporting girls and women. The project, which is expected to run till May 2015, has an online campaign on the Centre’s social media platforms especially its Twitter handle – twitter.com/WSoyinkaCentre using the hashtag #ReportWomen.
Report Women is a modest attempt towards promoting girls’ and women’s rights as human rights, and ensuring a more gender-balanced society through the media.