Spotlight Initiative Charge Journalists to Deepen role in Ending VAWG through Investigative Reportage
By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
Media Practitioners have been charged to deepen their roles in promoting an end to Violence Against Women and Girls through advocacy and Investigative Journalism.
Khadijah Ibrahim Nuhu, the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Communications coordinator at UNICEF, made this call in a four-day media dialogue organised by Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information with joint support/funding from the European Union, and United Nations, for Ebonyi based journalists at Channel view Hotel, Calabar on Monday, 14th June, 2021.
The Coordinator said that the media dialogue was aimed at giving room for participants to open up in discussions with the Spotlight Initiative partners and resource persons, stressing that it was important for journalists to move beyond reportage of incidences of violence against women and girls and be more invested in the issue.
According to her, the program would ensure effective media engagement and increase participants’ knowledge on ethical reporting as well as would engage in gender equality discourse, and journalists role in impacting/changing negative social norms among others.
She regretted that violence against women and children was still prevalent in the country, especially in Ebonyi state despite numerous awareness campaign.
Meanwhile, the European Union-United Nations (EU-UN), had also stated Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) persists in Nigeria due to deeply entrenched cultural practices and beliefs in many communities in the country which vary across the communities with regional and ethnic variations in prevalence.
In his presentation on the topic “Overview of Violence Against Women and Girls in Nigeria; polices, intervention and trends in Ebonyi”, at the workshop on behalf of the European Union, the United Nations Children’s Fund Child Specialist, Victor Atuchukwu saidFemale Genital Mutilation(FGM) persists in Nigeria due to ignorance and limited knowledge of the harmful nature of the phenomenon as well as existing laws against the practice as the reasons the act persists in the country.
Mr Victor further identified weak and poor enforcement of existing FGM laws, deeply entrenched cultural practices and beliefs in many communities in the country which vary across the communities with regional and ethnic variations in prevalence, weak national and state-level FGM response coordination bodies, and financial gains as other reasons the practice persists in the country.
He explained that the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey reveals that FGM among girls age 0-14 was the most common among girls whose mothers were circumcised, have no education, and from the lowest wealth quintile.
Also, an implementing partner of spotlight initiative, Gender Desk Officer Ebonyi Police command, DSP Loveth Okwor- Ogbuanya, call for more collaboration from the stakeholders to ensure that violence against women and children is reduced in Ebonyi.
Other spotlight initiative implementing partners who spoke on Ending violence against women and girls interventions and activity, progress, successes, challenges and gaps were representative of the Ebonyi State Ministry of Justice, Bar. Mrs Ijeoma Ajah Nwachukwu, representative of Ministry of Women Affairs and social Develoment, Emmanuel Nkwuda, and Mr Uchenna Unah, representative of the National Orientation Agency.