The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has lauded the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) for championing the campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) through the media.
Its Media Associate, Mrs Kori Habib, gave the commendation when NAN joined UN organs to celebrate Orange Day.
The Orange Day, marked on 25th of every month, was fixed by the UN and its organs to raise awareness on GBV and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) so as to proffer ways of ending it.
Habib, who said that GBV cases had increased in recent times following the COVID-19 lockdown, urged survivors to speak out and
break the conspiracy of silence so that they could get help.
She said “recently, the different forms of GBV have increased from say five per cent to 45 per cent as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
She, therefore, stressed the need for government and others in authority to have help lines where victims could approach to seek redress.
The Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, urged all to resist the temptation of violating women.
Ponle called for respect and high regards for women by all, irrespective of the circumstances.
He commended UNFPA for partnering with NAN in the fight against GBV and reiterated calls for all men to honour women.
He said “through the UN Orange Day campaign, more people would be educated, reminded and encouraged, especially men, to adore and respect women.”
Mrs Hadiza Aliyu, the Coordinator, NAN/UNFPA partnership, also emphasised the imperatives of according respect to women.
She expressed concern over the rampant cases of rape in the society and called for restraint to make the environment a safe space for women and girls.
Mr Ephraim Sheyin, the Assistant Coordinator for the NAN/UNFPA partnership, canvassed for total end to violence against women.
Sheyin, who described women as the bedrock of the society, said violence against a woman was violence against the family.
He added that “during a war, men normally run away and leave women and children, but the woman would never abandon her child.
“The woman would always do all she could to protect her children and the family as a whole.”
The Orange Day is a reminder to commitments to rid the world of GBV and harmful traditional practices, as well as encourage all to speak out and rise against it.
The Day seeks to highlight issues of rape, Female Genital Mutilation, Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), child marriage, forced marriage, the preference to educate the boy-child over girl-child, among others. (NAN)