Adamazi Mbonu Onyi Jennifer
Media plays a key role in reporting and sharing narratives surrounding Women and Girls through
amplifying their voices by speaking truth to power, promoting accountability and enhancing gender justice.
In a webinar on the role of the media in promoting accountability to end violence against women and girls organized by Spotlight Initiative as part of their activities to mark the Gender Based Violence (GBV) day, the key note speaker Dr Olasunbo Odebode revealed that 31% of Nigerian Women have experienced physical violence, 6% have experienced physical violence during Pregnancy while 20% of Women and Girls are circumcised before the age of 5.
Odebode said that the perpetrators of these acts against Children are mostly people they know ranging from Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Fathers, Aunties etc while for Women, the perpetrators are mostly their spouses.
Mr Edward Kallon, UN resident coordinator during his opening remarks, said its time for us to work together to break the silence of violence against women and girls in Nigeria.
Kallon acknowledged the personal engagement of President Buhari who during the last Town Hall Meeting, was clear on the need to bring this menace to an end in Nigeria.
He also acknowledged the Governor’s forum for declaring rape a State of Emergency at the height of COVID-19 pandemic.
Stating that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the fight.
Toun Okewala Sonaiya during her presentation insisted that Covid-19 was never a pandemic in Nigeria and the only pandemic prevalent in the country is corruption which has given rise to violent against Women and Children.
Okewala opined that transparency is the key to achieving accountability while urging the Media to do more in reporting these harmful practices.
The Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu said Nigerian government is fully committed to free, open and independent mass communication system in the country both online and offline mass media and will also protect the freedom of expression.
However, Garba stated that Government is also concerned about contents that threatens National security, bullies, harasses and affects the safety of women and children, minorities, ethnic religions amongst others.
Mrs Funke Oladipo, representing the Hon Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen said there are currently 18 trauma centers in Nigeria where GBV survivors are taken to receive help and protection against further attacks from their perpetrators.
Funke concluded by saying that Media is the conscience of the people and responsible for exposing all actors in other to promote gender justice.