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Eliminate gender-based violence, UNESCO charges journalists

…train journalists on gender-based violence reporting

‘President’s wife leading war against infant, maternal mortality’

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), through an initiative of the European Union (EU), has charged journalists to help eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Speaking yesterday at the opening of a four-day training for journalists in Lagos, Head of UNESCO, Abuja, Mr. Yao Ydo, said the Spotlight Initiative was a four-year programme aimed at eradicating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to achieve equality and women empowerment.

Represented by Spotlight, Project Manager, Stephen Onyekwelu, he expressed hope in the media to place the issue at the front-burner for the needed action by stakeholders.

Ydo explained that the EU set aside 500 euros on the issue of GBV for Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific, with Africa alone having 50 per cent.

The training was organised for journalists in Sokoto, Lagos, Cross River, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Abuja.

He disclosed that the fight in the elimination of GBV was built on six pillars: adequate laws, strengthened institutions, prevention, services by agencies (remedial measures,) provide data and galvanised civil society to create advocacy.

Declaring the event open, chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, charged the media to focus on the context of GBV and get appropriate knowledge on the issue.

Meanwhile, Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has said that the president’s wife, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, is leading the campaign against infant and maternal mortality, which alarming figure is unacceptable in the country.

Disclosing this yesterday to journalists in Jos, Tallen said her ministry, that of health and education, in collaboration with the presidency, had taken the campaign against infant and maternal mortality seriously.

“The issue of infant mortality is top and a very disturbing issue, but you will agree with me that the number is coming down compared to what we used to have in the last four years.

“This is because since the assumption of this administration, even before I became minister of women affairs, we were addressing most of these issues with the wife of the president. She has taken these issues very seriously. We are working closely with the ministers of health and education to address the issues,” she said.

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