The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has urged journalists across the country to give priority attention to reportage to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) issues to help reduce the menace.
The minister made the call on Thursday in Abuja at a one-day media training on GBV organised by
the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative (SI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs.
SI is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
GBV is any violence directed at an individual based on his or her sex or gender identity.
It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, threats, coercion and economic or educational deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life and undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of victims.
Tallen, who was represented at the event by Mrs Funke Oladipo, the Director, Women Development in the ministry, said that GBV had been one of the most serious threats to the health and safety of women and girls worldwide.
According to her, GBV’s devastating consequences are felt at social, economic and personal levels because of the grievous harm it inflicts on victims.
She noted that in spite of existing laws and policies on GBV in the country, such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 and the Child Rights Act 2003, acts of violence against women and girls still persist.
The minister, however, said “the good news is that if we care, the menace can be prevented through the control of risk factors and swift intervention when it occurs.
“This is why a coordinated action by different sectors within a formal mechanism is required to address the question of violence against women and girls.”
Tallen said that the ministry acknowledged the efforts of the UN and EU Spotlight Initiative for the partnership with the ministry and the Nigeria government to pioneer the move to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
She explained that cases of GBV in recent times had been on the rise, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that humanitarian protection and assistance needed had increased as well.
According to her, there is also a growing evidence base to demonstrate that preventing violence can promote economic growth and human dignity in a just and egalitarian society.
She said that the training was to increase awareness on GBV and strengthen access to justice and reduce waiting times for survivors to access justice.