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UN, EU urge media to intensify advocacy against gender violence

The joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, on Monday called on the media to intensify advocacy through reportage of violence against women and girls to end the menace in the country.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, made the call at a webinar to commemorate the “2020 16 Days of Activism on Ending Gender-Based Violence.”

Kallon also decried the increasing cases of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Newsmen report that the spotlight initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between European Union and United Nations to end violence against women and girls by 2030.

He said the media professionals and other stakeholders needed to work towards curtailing the menace, to help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) five on gender equality and women empowerment.

Also, EU Ambassador, Ketil Karlsen, represented by Clement Boutillier, Head of Section, Democracy, Governance and Migration said media’s involvement through their different platforms would end violence against women and girls.

Ms Olasunbo Odebode, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, said the media, through their various platforms could end the scourge.

Odebode pointed out that women and girls with disabilities were more likely to experience violence in homes, with most of the perpetrators being people they were familiar with.

She, therefore, urged the media to help shape public opinion and discourse, change negative social norms, raise awareness of violence, promote justice for survivors, influence behaviours and reshape views around gender stereotypes.

Ms Toun Sonaiya, Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer, Women Radio, urged the media professionals to focus more on reporting issues affecting women and children.

Sonaiya charged the media to create awareness on effects of the menace, proffer solutions and ensure perpetrators are prosecuted.

Also, Mr Rotimi Olawale, Co-Founder, Youths Hub Africa stressed the need to change the norms in the portrayal of men and women in media.

Olawale advised that the entertainment industry could be used as a weapon of change to address the situation.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said Nigeria currently has 18 trauma care centres to provide care for survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Tallen, represented by Mrs Funke Ladipo, Deputy Director, Women Development in the ministry described such violence as threats to the survival, health and safety of women and children globally.

She recalled that the ministry, through the support of other stakeholders recently launched a National GBV Data Situation Room to record such incidents.

The minister, therefore, encouraged the media to amplify the voices of women and children not just as survivors of violence, but as critical stakeholders in national development.

Newsmen report that the meeting had in attendance media professionals, government officials, gender specialists, human rights activists, CSOs and development agencies.

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