The Ministry of Women Affairs has conducted a media training programme focused on drawing the attention of the media to reporting Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) either at the workplace, home and large.
The training which held on Thursday and as themed Media Training on Reporting and Interpretation on the use of VAWG, SGBV, Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), and Access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Laws and Policies.
Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs in her keynote address enjoined the media to continuously emphasize gender issues reportage. The minister who was represented by Ms. Funke Oladipupo stressed the importance of the media’s collaboration in ending issues of SGBV.
“Increase your reportage for women and children. [I] have been up and doing to ensure that women’s issues are made to be improved in every aspect.”
She also commended the efforts of the media in covering VAGW, SGBV, and other issues affecting women. She stated that the training was expedient because tackling violence was important to economic growth.
“Violence against women is not just a human rights issue and a moral imperative. Failure to invest in tackling violence against women and girls has led to substantial socio- and economic losses estimated at 8% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. There is also a growing evidence base that preventing violence can promote economic growth, human dignity, a just and egalitarian society.”
In her lecture, Ms. Evelyn Onyilo, the president of Initiative for Women’s Accelerated Development in Africa (INWOAD), emphasised the need for synergy between the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and media organisations to set agenda that will tackle sexual and gender-based violence over the long haul.
“The media has a job to create better understanding and awareness for our people and to make sure that people know what to do,” she said.
“When (victims) seek redress in court the media should follow up and make sure that the perpetrators are exposed, make sure that they are named and shamed because we cannot afford to have abnegation where our young people, women, men, and boys are damaged through sexual assault and violence. So we must have a healthy nation of healthy people. And to be healthy and free and happy, we need to do away with sexual and gender-based violence.”
She also emphasized the roles of parents and parenting in putting an end to violence while enjoining that unhealthy competition between agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations was unnecessary since their goals were unified.