Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The National President of Excellent Women International, Dr Christabel Regan Okoye, has called on the Federal Government, non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and well-meaning Nigerians to protect and care for female journalists at the frontline of reporting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Okoye made the call on Tuesday in Abuja as her NGO distributed COVID-19 relief palliatives to female journalists in Abuja through the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
‘Women journalists should be highly protected in a time of this virus pandemic, only 24% of people seen, heard or read about in all media and only 99% of expert sources are women. So, many women journalists have contracted the COVID-19 virus globally,’ she stated.
‘Women journalists are at a high exposure to the virus and it has become a big concern to Excellent Women International. 75% of the global health care workforce are women. Women are also largely the main caregivers in their own homes and most likely to be responsible for nursing children and elders in homes and isolation centres.
‘As women are responsible for the majority of caretaking, both in private and at work, it increases the likelihood that they will be exposed to the virus. Women carry a three-fold burden as they are responsible for disease prevention and response efforts, and at greater risk of infection and subject to emotional physical and socio-economic disadvantaged.
‘It is very important that the special task force on COVID-19 and other well-meaning NGO’s in Nigeria should quickly rise to the demand and need of the women journalists who are at the frontline of reporting the case of COVID-19 pandemic.’
Emmanuel Ogbeche, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Chairman, who was also in attendance, thanked Dr Okoye for her great support for women and female journalists by extension.
He explained that female journalists are indeed very important in the profession and must be protected at all cost.
He went on to emphasise that at a time when news of gender violence and rape are in the fore, it becomes more crucial for everyone to show commitment to females and protect them.
Beneficiaries who received palliative expressed their gratitude joyously to both Excellent Women International and the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists.