As part of the effort to fight violence against women a Nigerian non-profit Organization Women for Women International in Nigeria has organized a one day media parley as part of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence themed UNITE! ACTIVISM TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.
The event took place on the 29th of November 2022 at the new Crispan Suite and Event Center, having in attendance a number of media outfits ranging from bloggers, newspaper outfits and broadcast media.
Delivering her opening address the Country Director Bukola Onyishi, represented by the social empowerment manager Anthonia Olieh stated that the recent estimate of violence against women is that one in every five women faces sexual or physical violence and a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11minutes. adding that it is alarming, frightening, and crazy.
She added that the purpose of the discussion is to solicits the support and collaboration of the media in fighting the pressing issue of violence against women and girls by creating more awareness and sensitizing the citizenry to understand violence against women and also frequent reportage of violence against women thereby challenging social norms and behaviors that condone the menace.
“Creating more awareness and sensitizing the citizenry to understand violence against women, enlisting journalist to frequently report issues of violence against women, thereby challenging social norms and behaviors that condone violence against women, and advocate for the strengthening of protection mechanisms to prevent and eliminate violence, harassment, threats , intimidation and discrimination against women human rights defenders and women’s rights advocates/activists in line with international standards”.
The bulk of the discussion is focused around identifying whats happening, what has changed, the challenges and way forward in the issue of violence against women.
Outcome of the discussion identified that violence against women ranges from physical violence, rape (marital rape), economic and financial control, amongst others and other number of issues such as Violence of women to women, non implementation of the laws that support cases of violence, economic situations and financial dependence that forces women to stay in abusive relationships and also cultural values, societal expectation and stigmatization that forces women to be silent about their plight or lose the will to fight for their right.
Although people are becoming more aware and taking action to fight violence against women, more policies are being passed into law, and most importantly more cases are being reported unlike in the past, Its however unfortunate that the challenges facing the fight to end the violence against women are still very prominent and the number of cases are not reducing.
The proposed way forward by the journalist present included collaboration among NGO’s to go beyond advocacy of legal instrument but also effective implementation of the law by doing proper follow ups till justice is served and the offender is persecuted, orientation and education at the grass root on the provision of the law and it implication to both victims and perpetrators, and also involving various stakeholders such as traditional rulers, various women groups, the media and law makers in all activities related to gender violence so as to have a holistic approach.
At the end of the event journalist promised to be more proactive in reporting cases of violence against women and also urged the women for women organization and other organizations fighting against all forms of violence such as Stand To End Rape (STER) and FIDA to actively involve the media in all their activities and cases.