The Mass Media, Gender Balance and Politics in Nigeria: An Assessment
This study argues that gender balance has been an issue of concern in Nigeria’s nascent democracy since May 29, 1999. It further argues that it seems the number of women in political positions in the country is insignificant compared to their male counterpart. In view of this situation, the media are supposed to be at the fore-front of the campaign for gender balance. The study, therefore, aims at ascertaining whether the media have succeeded in creating a smooth and equal playing field for both the male and female folks in Nigerian politics through aggressive campaigns on gender balance. Using agenda-setting theory, the study was able to highlight the role of the media in ensuring gender balance. The survey method was employed to elicit the opinion of the masses on how well the media have faired. A total of 446 respondents were sampled with questionnaire serving as an instrument of data collection. Data were presented and analysed in tables and simple percentages. The study found out that the media still has a long way to go in the campaign for gender equality as the much they have done is still insignificant considering the miles yet to be covered. It was, therefore, recommended that the media should devote more time in the campaign for gender balance and that women should change their mind-set politically and lay-off all forms of political apathy within them.
Keywords: gender balance, mass media, politics, democracy and political development