Nigeria’s Nigeria and the Middle East-Iran – a country which is considered the largest stronghold of the media in its continent and a country where the government’s copy on the media is almost immediately
When I met the BBC correspondents Abigail Oiniwa and Ferrende Amedi working on women’s issues in these two countries, at BBC London’s office, there was great curiosity about what kind of journalism is there on the issues of women?
There are hundreds of radio stations, TV channels and satellite channels in Nigeria. However, due to the overwhelming force of the army and Boko Haram, attacks and pressure on journalists persists.
For the first time in a 2015 Nigerian presidential election, a woman is standing.
But in the media, Remi Sonaa was asked not to work on her work, but she was asked how to make balance between work and family.
Limited to family only
According to Abigail Oniwaacha, women coming forward in politics are seen as part of the family first and politician later.
Commentaries are made on their dress and ability to speak.
Niger with 18 million citizens, is the most populous country in Africa. Sonya came in 12th position with just 13,000 votes.
After his defeat, he was asked what was the need to fight? And it was said that this happens when women try to do something out of their fixed roles.
Where the media is free, if there are so many prisoners worried about the lives of women then what will happen in a country like Iran.
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Ten-fold ‘Relationships’ on Women’s Issues
In Iran, there is the right to broadcast news to government radio and television only.
Many autonomous, independent media organizations and writers have emerged on the internet, but it is common to put them in jail to silence them.
The government’s grip is complete and the ‘censorship’ is used in the lurch.
According to Ferranak, these ‘censorship’ becomes a ten-fold link on issues of women.
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Women are shown in the same roles as the government and patriarchy have long been considered right, that is, in the form of obedient wife, mother and daughter.
Many times they are not addressed as women but by calling them ‘family’. For example, if they participate in an event, it is said that, ‘families took part’.
Media women think only important on the issues of women, they are not considered worthwhile for the rest of the issues.
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Traditional role in serial
Since the arrival of Satellite Television, many serials made in Turkey and Latin America have become quite popular in Iran.
But they also show women’s lives by limiting them to the family.
Among them are the issues of saas-bahu, women struggling with fluctuations in love relationships and two women engaged in a man’s competition to get a liking.
Stories are not shown on women’s own wishes, work or existence.
After Bollywood’s second largest film industry, Nigeria’s ‘Knowlewood’ also shows the role of women to rely on men.
It is common for a man to deceive a woman in the stories, then to apologize and to accept the woman in the end or to be the second or third wife of a woman.
In whatever role the woman is not self-reliant, nor does she have the ability to take decisions for herself.
Do not talk about women’s health
Ferranac says that the health of women in Iran is not exactly talked about. The ‘sex education’ is not given in the school. The extent of what is said in the college is very low.
According to Abigail, Nigerian media is absolutely silent to talk about women’s body. There is a lot of embarrassment and hesitation on these issues.
Women have a lot of curiosity about their body, about having sexual relations, about the right to take a decision to have children, different sexuality.
At the same time, women have an interest in their life, whether they are engaged in employment, from deposits, to health, but the media do not even talk about them.
This demand is being met through social media, where all these issues can be freely written by avoiding censorship of governments.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are very popular in Nigeria. In Iran, social media is becoming a new voice for women.
However, Ferreñac reminds that social media is only part of our real life. Just like women are kept in the real life, it is expected that in the Internet world they will remain silent.
In this case, ‘trolling’ is a big challenge.
According to Abigail, it is important to have more women in the media institutions to make changes.
Women will be able to work better on women’s issues, but they will be able to do journalism on all other issues with women’s point of view.