WanaData Africa
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WanaData Africa

GMMP-WD Fellowship: How I became enthralled with advocating for an equal and enabling world for women and girls.

By Olufunmilayo Obadofin

Introduction

“Dear Olufunmilayo Obadofin,

Thank you for submitting your application for the WanaData-GMMP fellowship.

We are excited to let you know that you have been selected to participate in the 2021/22 WanaData-GMMP fellowship. Congratulations!”

The message was clear and straightforward. I have been selected among six African journalists for the CFA/WAAC GMMP fellowship.

The fellowship inspired by the sixth Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) 2020 report, is aimed at supporting data-driven projects focused on gender issues.

This report was launched in July 2021 highlighting both the continued invisibility of women’s voices in the media and of women journalists as influencers or decision-makers.

Investigation and Research

In developing my stories, I focused on my area of interest alongside the fellowship’s objective, which essentially aims to increase data-driven gender representation in the media using women journalists as influencers. My stories, therefore, were topics I thought were worthy of such literary effort and with high hopes that they become revolutionary tools in the advocacy for an equal and enabling world for women and girls.

In my first story titled “Confined by the law in the pursuit of gender equality”, I discussed the role of statutory and customary laws in the relegation of women in society and advised changing actions that have been proven viable in ally societies and organisations.

I also covered “Moving Forward with a Gender Lens,” as my second article, where I highlighted both noticeable and unnoticeable structural barriers to girls’ and women’s comfort and productivity in Nigerian society. The story placed its opening lens on the global situation and progressively funnelled its lens to reveal the local situations. Like the first and every other story, it advises actions for turning around the situation.

“Technology and Trafficking WoFare in Nigeria” was my third story where I focused on reiterating the safety concerns of online spaces for women in the face of evolving and emerging technologies.

The story comes with a peculiar challenge of a ‘local quantitative data scarcity’; hence, a multi-series of digital unlaying was employed while reaching out to relevant contact to assert the qualitative data collected in the elementary research.

Again, a deep-rooted problem that takes the face of a global spider-web made up of a multi-local spider-silk was established and accompanied by globally and locally asserted solutions.

The fourth and last story, “Promoting STEM in Nigeria while bridging the Gender Gap”, looks at the important yet ignored stereotypical values and begotten practices that limit the number and successes of women in STEM careers and courses in Nigeria.

The story was complemented by women who, despite the odds, had found their voices as active or passive STEM ambassadors. Adding these voices was a deliberate subtle attempt at motivating more women in STEM while also increasing the visibility of women — one of my takeaways from the fellowship.

With the fellowship, I’m a proud female journalist who deliberately gives a preference for female voices in media storytelling; after all, they exist and deservedly so!

Data/Key Insights

The GMMP data helped to shape the dynamics for presenting my stories, particularly in understanding the gender dynamics and challenges of different social issues through the findings of its extensive research.

Data for the stories were sourced from both local and global open data sources, as well as from primary and secondary sources.

While the global data served to create a more robust understanding of issues as well as a sense of shared solidarity, the local data helped to contextualise issues and locally shape perspective.

Key Learnings

The fellowship did not only allow me to write about issues that affect women, an interest dear to me, but I also got the excellent opportunity to learn intricate details on how women are represented in the media, to what extent and the consequences through the GMMP data.

I also had the opportunity to hone my data-finding skills and learn some guiding principles in data journalism. I became more familiar with using toolkits such as advanced Google search the Google map while also using and interpreting GMMP data.

The WAAC/GMMP fellowship gave me a rare opportunity to be tutored in the most kind manner by personalities that adequately qualify as professionals in their respective fields.

Most exceedingly are my mentor, Freda Victor, whose feedback always came in defined, gentle and appropriate; Amisi Paul, the copy editor; community manager, Esther Wanza; Program Manager; Tolulope Adeyemo; Tricia Govindasamy, a Senior Product Manager; John Eromosole and Adaugo Isaac.

I appreciate how you have moulded me further during my fellowship period.

To my publisher and big sister in the media space, Blessing Oladunjoye, there would probably not be any publication if you didn’t take the initiative with BO News.

To all, I say thank you.

To the ink that will never cease to flow-cheers!

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