Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and it constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. It, therefore, presents the unique ability to inform, reform, educate and shape the society.
The first time I spoke on a radio station was at TAO FM, during my service year at Okene, Kogi State on October 11, 2018 ( International Day of the Girl Child) It was a forum to educate thousands of Kogi State people on the rights of a girl child vis- a- vis the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and International treaties such as; United Nations Charter, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, etc.
We spoke against the harsh inferior discriminatory treatments meted out to the girl child such as; female genital mutilation, child marriage, girl trafficking, etc. It was an interactive session, such that we couldn’t exhaust our points which gave rise to another appointment to be secured for us.
Radio forms an integral part of the media, despite the heavy presence of social media, it has still kept its prominence culture thereby remaining one of the largest media to reach a larger people. I have since then spoken on various radio stations such as : BOND FM at Lagos, FAMILY FM at Abeokuta and FRESH F.M at Abeokuta on different occasions.
The Nigerian society is inherently patriarchal due to the influence of various religions and customs in many parts of the country which has promoted a lot of unjust practices relegating the female gender. However, due to a lot of advocacy programs on the radio, there is a reorientation on women’s rights which is yielding positive responses such as an increase in the number of girls with access to education, the inclusion of girls in science and technology, and a reduction in marginalization.
Equality does not mean being identical, we are not blind to our biological differences, rather, it’s a tool to advocating that the differences between the gender should not translate to different levels of access to benefits and opportunities for both gender in the society. We want an inclusive and equitable society.
Women’s rights are human rights. A right is, therefore, a claim to something that can be exercised and enforced under a set of grounds or justification without interference from others. Rights are ‘rights’ in the face of law they should not have a ‘gendered’ restraint to their enforcement.
Radio had been highly instrumental in fostering development for gender equality in education, politics, social and economic life in Nigeria.
We, therefore, celebrate our friends working in the media sector, promoting worthy causes and contributing their quota to the development of society.