The Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health, Moji Makanjuola, has urged government and civil society organisations to create innovative responses to change the mindset that produces violence against women globally.
Makanjuola, a veteran journalist, made the call at the unveiling of a Gender Mainstream Training Manual for Higher Institutions in Nigeria, held in Abuja.
The manual is a collaborative effort between the ISMPH, Spotlight Initiative and UNESCO.
She noted with concern the increasing rate of violence against women and girls in the country.
“The central purpose of the manual is to drive conversations on the issues of Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
”Governments at all levels and civil society organisations must rise to the occasion and create innovative responses against violence against women.
”One way we can collectively achieve this is by creating or engaging existing platforms to normalise conversations about the rights, welfare and body autonomy of women,” she said.
“Globally, it is estimated that one in three women experience either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their life time.
“In Nigeria, these figures are mirrored with 30 per cent of girls and women aged between 15 and 49. Increasingly, sexual abuse has grown to involve minors,” Makanjuola noted.
She stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions had profound impact on the welfare of women and girls in Nigeria.
Earlier, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Higher Education and ICT, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, Salifou Abdoulaye, said that the inadequate inclusion of women and girls’ perspective in policy making decisions, resource allocation and implementation in economy and social sector continues to challenge the advancement of gender equality in Nigeria.
He said that at the higher education level, gender-based violence, especially the worrisome issue of sex for marks syndrome, had drawn the attention of education.