Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Maureen Okpe

As part of activities to facilitate the effective reportage of women issues and inclusiveness,in solidarity with the International Women’s Day, the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), has launched a handbook on Gender Based Violence (GBV) Reporting in Abuja.

This is in a bid to strengthen and educate personnels to demand accountability of all stakeholders to advocate to building democracy that fights against gender violence.

According to Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founding Director of Women Advocate Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), while delivering the keynote address at the Launch said,Gender Based Violence is far more than a violation of human rights and manifestation of gender inequality,stating,they are violation of women’s rights.

Akiyode-Afolabi,the co-convener of #OccupyNASS,noted that,GBV impede the achievement of gender equality and undermine the contribution of women towards the development of their communities.

“GBV in Nigeria has over the years increased, continued unabated, reaching epidemic level.Before the pandemic, statistics on prevalence of GBV presented a worrisome picture. As number of factors had driven the prevalence of the incidence of GBV, some of which are the deeply rooted cultural beliefs, perceptions and norms, community acquiescence and stigmatization.

“Women and girls in conflict-affected states, particularly Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, are at increased risk of GBV due to the deprived living conditions. Within the context of camps, women and girls face a high risk of having to use survival sex in exchange for mobility, safety and access to resources.

“GBV risk for girls remains incredibly high, as they are at heightened risk of child marriage and child labour to alleviate economic hardship. The intersection of gender and disability increases the risk of violence for women with disabilities. Women and girls living with disabilities are almost twice as likely to experience gender-based violence.

Proffering solution, Dr. Akiyode Afolabi stated the need for policy responses to GBV to ensure the ability of the justice system and law enforcement to act as mechanisms of accountability, leverage opportunities to create a more transparent justice system.

“Specialized training should be provided for GBV responders such as case workers, criminal justice professionals police, prosecutors, judges and magistrates, lawyers and legal aid providers.

“Leveraging these networks and platforms will also serve to amplify women’s voices and strengthen women’s leadership on eliminating violence against women and girls in the immediate response and in long-term recovery phases.

Earlier,in his welcome address,Dr.Tobi Oluwatola,Acting Executive Director CJID,said education can not be over emphasised as this aids to achieve the necessary potentials on the fight against gender violence.

Oluwatola reiterated the need for “strengthening and educating personnels to enable the demand for accountability of all stakeholders to do a more better job of building a substantive democratic.

Olufunke Baruwa,Programme Officer,Ford Foundation,lamented that despite the numerous challenges women face,the society blames her for issues she suffers.

Baruwa stated that “danger is the life of a woman as she faces it at workplaces,home,amongst others”,adding,everyone should feel safe regardless of who they are and where they are.

On her part, Dr. Ganiyat Tijani-Adenle lecturer,Department of Mass Communication,Lagos State University, in her review, said the handbook is apt in capturing neccessities in capturing details of GBV.

She stated that,the media should not dwell on making GBV stories as news or exclusive as this should be a continues report to help bring justice to victims and survivors a form of coordinated approach and should be a tool for empowerment of the people.

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