BusinessDay

Group urges media to be agent of change, fight sexual violence

An international women rights organisation under the aegis of Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, advocating for the rights of women and girls to become an integral part of everyday life, has called on media practitioners across the states to be agents of change to eliminate sexual violence in Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday at a one-day training workshop on leadership and gender-responsive reporting of sexual and gender-based violence, organised for 35 journalists in Ondo State, Bunmi Dipo-Salami, executive director of the organisation, said there was need to involve the media to report sexual violence in a more gender-sensitive manner.

According to her, the training workshop, which was organised in collaboration with the Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence (OSAA-GBV) and with funding support by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) was designed to build practical analytical knowledge of advocacy as a tool for ending SGBV in Nigeria.

Dipo-Salami, posited that available data from United Nations Women report that 48 percent of Nigeria women have experienced at least one form of violence since the Covid-19 pandemic.

She, therefore, called for the promotion of the right of women and girls to bodily integrity as enshrined in the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Dipo-Salami, who said that all hands must be on deck to fight the dehumanization and molestation of girls and women in the society, however, urged parents to bring up their wards in a decent manner.

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Also speaking at the training workshop, Olubunmi Osadahun, the Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, said the menace should be handled seriously the way COVID-19 and campaign against AIDS were handled, so as to put an end to the violence.

While Olamide Falana, special adviser to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Gender Matters, enjoined parents to voice out when there’s any violent act against them so as to get justice for victims and promised that they would be protected against stigmatisation.