By Ikechukwu Odu
A gender-based group, Njikoka Women Association, NWA, in Ezimo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday, identified media sexism as bane of women participation in politics.
The Association which bemoaned the derogatory stereotyping of women in political participation in Nigeria, called for a review of media messages on women in politics in order to correct the stigma against female politicians in the country.
While calling for a level playing field for every contestant of political positions irrespective of their gender in the country, the group urged the media to stop presenting women politicians as inferior to their male counterparts.
A facilitator, Francisca Nwokolo, while sensitizing members of NWA, comprising women and young girls, she said “The media often relegate women to object of pleasure and entertainment in advertisement. Depiction of women in the media as mentally and physically weaker than her male counterparts impact negatively on political ambition of women.
“Where media sexism is high, women who are politically ambitious will be less likely to express their ambition of becoming a candidate than they would have been in an environment free from media sexism.
” Women face multiple barriers when seeking election, such as party nomination, media biases, online harassments, and voter prejudice. There is a clarian call to women to wake up to overcome these challenges,” she explained.
She equally identified patriarchy, stigmatization, low level of education, political violence and timing of political meetings among others as factors responsible for women marginalisation in Nigerian politics.