The joint EU-UN Spotlight initiative on Monday called on the media to step up advocacy through reporting on violence against women and girls to end the threat in the country.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, made the call in a webinar to commemorate the “16 days of activism in 2020 to end gender-based violence.”
Kallon also condemned the increasing cases of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Journalists report that the Spotlight initiative is a multi-year global partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to end violence against women and girls by 2030.
She said that media professionals and other stakeholders should work to reduce the threat, to help the country achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) five on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Furthermore, EU Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, represented by Clement Boutillier, Head of Section, Democracy, Governance and Migration, said that the participation of the media through their different platforms would put an end to violence against women and girls.
Ms Olasunbo Odebode, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, said that the media, through its various platforms, could end the scourge.
Odebode noted that women and girls with disabilities were more likely to experience domestic violence, and most of the perpetrators were people with whom they were familiar.
Therefore, he urged the media to help shape public opinion and discourse, change negative social norms, raise awareness of violence, promote justice for survivors, influence behaviors, and reshape opinions about victims. gender stereotypes.
Toun Sonaiya, CEO and CEO of Women Radio, urged media professionals to focus more on reporting on issues affecting women and children.
Sonaiya tasked the media to raise awareness about the effects of the threat, offer solutions and ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted.
Additionally, Rotimi Olawale, co-founder of Youths Hub Africa, highlighted the need to change the norms in the representation of men and women in the media.
Olawale warned that the entertainment industry could be used as a weapon of change to address the situation.
The Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Pauline Tallen, said that Nigeria currently has 18 trauma care centers to provide care for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
Tallen, represented by Ms Funke Ladipo, Deputy Director for Women’s Development at the ministry, described such violence as a threat to the survival, health and safety of women and children around the world.
He recalled that the ministry, with the support of other stakeholders, recently launched a National GBV Data Situation Room to record such incidents.
Therefore, the minister encouraged the media to amplify the voices of women and children not only as survivors of violence, but as key stakeholders in national development.
Journalists report that the meeting was attended by professionals from the media, government officials, gender specialists, human rights activists, CSOs and development agencies.