The International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos has joined global voices tasking the media to step up reports that advance the rights of women and the girl child.

In a statement to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, on March 8, the Director of IPC, ‘Lanre Arogundade said the Nigerian media should fully utilise its potential to mobilise public opinion, influence policies and encourage attitudinal change that would end discrimination, gender stereotyping and the violations of the rights of women, especially the young adolescents.

“The need for this cannot be over emphasised as recent developments including spate of abductions, rapes, child labour and displacements as a result of insurgency clearly show that women and the girl child are endangered,” Arogundade said.

He added that much could be achieved if the media brings women’s rights issues to the attention of a wider public, galvanise actions on these issues and encourage policy makers to step up commitments on gender equity.

Arogundade however urged media professionals to exercise ethical caution in the way and manner they report girls’ rights’ violations bearing in mind that the code of ethics of Nigerian journalists requires them to show restraint in the identification of under-age victims of sexual and other forms of violence.

Speaking specifically on the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Pledge for Parity’, the IPC Director charged media owners and gate keepers to lead by example by adopting policies and taking actions that will lead to gender parity in editorial positions and the reporting of female and male gender rights issues.