HumAngle Managing Editor Wins Wole Soyinka ‘Report Women’ Award

Eboigbe’s winning report spotlighted the challenges faced by displaced women who have been battered or left with a form of disability by the herder-farmer crisis in Benue State, North-central Nigeria.

HumAngle’s Managing Editor, Anita Eboigbe, has won an award at the closing ceremony of the 2021 Female Reporters Leadership Programme – also known as the Report Women programme – organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).

The award was announced on Thursday, June 9 in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Eboigbe was honoured for her outstanding leadership and story projects, receiving a brand new laptop and a plaque.

For her leadership project, she trained and mentored female campus journalists at the University of Ilorin, some of whom have now gone on to publish their debut feature stories and also win awards.

Meanwhile, the Managing Editor’s winning story, Butchered And Alone: Female IDPs In Benue State Lick Their Wounds, details the suffering of women battered and disabled by the herder-farmer crisis in North-central Nigeria.

Reacting to winning the award, Eboigbe, who is one of the few women holding a newsroom’s highest-ranking position in Nigeria, said she was thrilled to be recognised.

“This was certainly unexpected, not because I wasn’t sure of my work but because I’m just surrounded by these amazing women who have done amazing work,” she said. 

She said she was grateful for the opportunity provided by the WSCIJ and the support she got from HumAngle in the course of the fellowship “because there was no way I could have done all of this without the support of HumAngle in making sure that my story and leadership projects were executed.”

The award ceremony followed a six-month-long leadership training programme for 21 female reporters across Nigeria that aimed to address women’s representation in newsrooms by equipping them with media tools and support.

According to organisers, the fellowship, in its fourth edition, sought to create “a strong community of female reporters with leadership prowess” whose main agenda was to initiate and drive the topic of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) across boards.

“The 2021/2022 Report Women Female Reporters Leadership Programme and its fellowship sought amongst other things to say-SGBV is not okay.  It is terrible, and we must refuse attempts to normalise the absurdity,” Motunrayo Alaka, the Chief Executive Officer of WSCIJ, said. 

“From stories of exploitation of minors as sex workers to the multi-level sexual abuse of girls in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps to the stigmatisation of children [facing] SGBV to the experience of educators with harassment to the woes of female prisoners to the difficulty of finding justice for survivors and victims to rape to the trafficking of girls and women for sex, to forced child marriage, poor police response to domestic violence to the trauma of unwanted pregnancy from rape and even to the normalisation of sexual harassment in newsrooms, our fellows led a reportorial onslaught against SGBV.”

Since its inception in 2017, the leadership programme has produced 73 fellows who have addressed the complex ramifications of sexual and gender-based violations, Alaka added.

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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