Interpersonal violence leads cause of death among women – UNIC

The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, has emphasized that interpersonal violence is one of the leading causes of death for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. He said this while speaking on ‘Curbing gender violence – Role of the Nigeria Police’ at a programme organised by the West African Women Association (WAWA) in Lagos to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day.

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, presents some UN publications to WAWA.

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, presents some UN publications to WAWA.


Making reference to the report of the Secretary General entitled, ‘In-depth study on all forms of violence against women’, Soremekun noted that ‘half of all women who die a violent death do so at the hands of somebody they were in an intimate relationship with.’
Soremekun speaking at the occasion

Soremekun speaking at the occasion


In her welcome address, the focal person of WAWA, Chief (Mrs) Beatrice Ubeku, called on stakeholders on gender issues to join hands and make Nigeria free of violence against women and girls. She pointed out that ‘women and girls who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished.’
Contributing, the Divisional Police Officer, Onikan Division, Joseph Aloefuna, drew attention to the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that women between the ages of 15 to 45 were more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. He also stressed the issues of rape and other forms of violence.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Odumakin, charged all Nigerians to stand up against gender based violence. Gender based violence, she said, ‘is a hindrance to economic stability and growth through women’s lost productivity.’

New study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 reveals that 475 000 people were murdered in 2012, and homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15-44 years, highlighting the urgent need for more decisive action to prevent violence.

Despite indications that homicide rates decreased by 16% globally between 2000 and 2012, violence remains widespread. Non-fatal acts of violence take a particular toll on women and children. One in four children has been physically abused; one in five girls has been sexually abused; and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime.
Jointly published today by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report indicates that:
• only one third of the 133 countries surveyed are implementing large-scale initiatives to prevent violence, such as bullying prevention programmes, visits by nurses to families at risk, and support to those who care for older people;
• just over half the countries are fully enforcing a set of 12 laws generally acknowledged to prevent violence, although 80% countries have enacted them;
• only half of all countries have services in place to protect and support victims of violence.

The consequences of violence on physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health often last a lifetime. Violence also contributes to leading causes of death such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, because victims are at an increased risk of adopting behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, and unsafe sex.

“The consequences of violence on families and communities are profound, and can result in lifelong ill health for those affected,” states Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Yet we know what works to prevent violence in our homes, schools and workplaces and on our streets and playgrounds. We should take inspiration from governments which have demonstrated success in reducing violence by taking the steps needed. They have shown us that indeed violence is preventable.”

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse. Individual country profiles reflect the extent to which key violence prevention programmes and laws and selected services for victims of violence are being implemented.

The report assessed the scale of implementation of 18 “best buy” violence prevention programmes. It shows, for example, that:
• one half of countries are implementing school-based programmes to teach children and adolescents “life-skills” such as non-violent conflict resolution;
• one half of countries are promoting efforts to change gender norms supportive of violence against women;
• one third of countries are putting in place programmes to improve parenting in families at risk of violence
• less than one quarter of countries are developing public information campaigns to prevent elder abuse.

“High levels of family and community violence cripple both people’s ability to sustain their individual livelihoods, as well as a nation’s options for political, social, and economic development”, said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. “This report takes stock of the measures countries are taking to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence, but the report also reveals gaps in global violence prevention which must be filled, such as the quality and reach of prevention programmes, the access to services for victims, particularly for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by violence, and the enforcement of existing laws.”

The report also reviewed 12 laws which are relevant for violence prevention. It shows, for example, that:
• 98% of countries have laws against rape;
• 87% of countries have laws against domestic violence;
• 84% of countries have laws against carrying weapons in schools;
• 40% of countries have laws against abuse in institutions for older people.
On average 80% of countries have enacted each of these 12 laws relevant for violence prevention. However, only just over half of countries report that these laws are fully enforced.

“Laws protecting citizens against violent crime send a clear message to society about what is acceptable,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “With this Global status report on violence prevention 2014, we have a useful tool for identifying the gaps in legislation and enforcement in countries, which can help to indicate what further action is needed to ensure reductions in violent crime.”

Providing care and support to victims of violence is important for reducing psychological trauma, helping victims heal, and preventing further involvement in violence. Despite strong evidence linking experiences of violence to mental health problems, under half of countries have mental health services to address victim needs, with only 15% of countries in Africa offering such services. Over two thirds of countries make available child protection services and medico-legal services for victims of sexual violence.

The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes in all countries; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; strengthened justice and security institutions to uphold the rule of law; and enhanced services for victims of violence. It also advocates for better and more effective use of data to inform violence prevention programming and to measure progress. The report is intended for use by governments to help identify gaps and encourage and guide actions, and by nongovernmental organizations and experts to assist governments in their efforts.

National Plan of Action to address Gender-based violence and HIV launched

Abuja, 8 December 2014 — The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) have launched a national plan to reduce the incidence of HIV by dealing with Gender-based violence. The National Action Plan: Addressing Gender-based Violence and HIV/AIDS (GBV/HIV/AIDS) Intersections 2015-2017, launched in Abuja last week, shall foster right-based approaches to enhance gender equality and the protection of vulnerable groups against the acquisition of HIV.

The Plan identifies Gender-based violence as one of the key drivers of the HIV epidemic and highlights the connections between Gender-based violence and HIV, including forced sex, physical violence and threat of violence, sexual abuse of children, and women living with HIV who share their status with partners and families. Others include men who have sex with men, transgender people, and male, female and transgender sex workers.

It was developed by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, with the support of UNAIDS, UNDP, UNWOMEN, UNFPA and civil society groups.

The Plan was launched along with three important documents:
Gender Assessment of the National Response to HIV/AIDS in Nigeria meant to provide for an accelerated response and mainstream gender issues within the national HIV response;
Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria: National Guidelines and Referral Standards to apply in post-conflict and post-insurgency situations, during the administration of humanitarian relief, and providing of support to victims of domestic violence; and
Mapping of laws, policies and services on Gender-based violence and its Intersections with HIV in Nigeria.
The implementation of the Plan shall help to provide an enabling environment to prevent the occurrence and mitigate cases of Gender-based violence and improve access to health and HIV and justice services, as well as community participation, partnership and collaboration.

HIV prevalence among the general population in Nigeria is 3.2% and the national HIV prevalence among pregnant women is 4.1%. Many studies have shown that exposure to Gender-Based Violence is a very strong predictor of HIV infection.

Quotes

“We all share a common aspiration – the sustainable development of our country – which we can accomplish if we resolve and commit to the implementation of these priceless documents.” – Prof. John Idoko, Director General, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.

“The Plan and other gender documents and tools that are now at our disposal provide fresh opportunities for the improvement of the dignity of human beings who have been suffering from gender inequalities and gender-based violence, especially our women and our girls. These documents and tools have the potential to guide our energies so that we end Gender-Based Violence now and ensure the ending of the AIDS epidemic by 2030 remains in sight.” – Dr. Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for ECOWAS.

About UNAIDS:
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more about UNAIDS at www.unaids.org

Media Contact:
UNAIDS Nigeria | Charles-Martin Jjuuko | tel. +234 806 809 2984 | email: jjuukoc@unaids.org

UNIC and partners initiate HeForShe campaign in schools

Within the framework of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence and the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Education and Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has led the initiative to propagate the HeForShe campaign ideals in schools.No to Abuse
Speaking to a mammoth crowd of over 1,700 students, teachers, NGOs and media representatives yesterday at the open ground of Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior High School, Ojodu Lagos, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olufunke Oladunjoye pledged the support of the State for the HeForShe campaign and urged boys to respect the right of girls and stop any form of violence against them.Envera and the performers
Represented by the Director, Policy, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry, Mrs Christiana Sofolahan, the Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the government to ending violence against women and girls.
In her remarks, the Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary in charge of Education District VI, Mrs Iyabo Osifeso, called on male students admonished the students, male and female, to desist from any act of gender-based violence, adding that culprits would be disciplined accordingly.Dignitaries
The event which featured several dramatic presentations on gender-based violence, also had the Senior Public Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Envera Selimovic, who beseeched the boys to see girls as their sisters and women as their mothers. She noted that women and girls have a right to live free of violence.HeForShe - participants 4
The National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, had earlier provided a background on the HeForShe campagn stressing the need for boys to speak up for girls; the need for men to commit to ending violence against women and girls; the need for all to unite to end gender-based violence.Dignitaries saying No to violence
The Executive Director of S.M.I.L.E., Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, in her closing remarks, reiterated the commitment of the organization to end violence against women and girls as well as developing disciplined and enterprising youth.

First Lady of Nasarawa State appointed Special Advocate for the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV

Abuja, 1 December 2014 — The First Lady of Nigeria’s Nasarawa State, Salamatu Tanko Al-
Makura, has accepted her appointment as a UNAIDS Special Advocate for the elimination of
Mother to Child Transmission of HIV for the next one year.
The UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, appointed Mrs. Al-Makura as a UNAIDS
Special Advocate to champion the “Mother to Mother” model programmes as part of efforts to
ensure that no child is born with HIV in Nasarawa State.
Her Certificate of Appointment is being handed over today by Bilali Camara, the UNAIDS
Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for ECOWAS, as well as Arjan de Wagt,
the Chief of HIV at UNICEF Nigeria, at a ceremony to commemorate the 2014 World AIDS Day
in Lafia town, Nasarawa State.
Nasarawa is one of the 12 States, along with the Federal Capital Territory, which have the
highest HIV prevalence in Nigeria. The State has got 8.1% HIV prevalence, the fourth highest in
Nigeria.
Last month, President Goodluck Jonathan launched the “National Operational Plan for the
Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria 2015-2016” aimed at eliminating
new infections among children and keeping their mothers alive by 2020.The Plan focuses
support from the Federal, State and Local Government levels to accelerate the elimination of
mother to child transmission of HIV.
Quotes
“This appointment is a great boost to my passion for ensuring that no child in Nassarawa is born
with HIV as well as my desire to help keep all mothers in this State healthy and productive. I will
use the tenure of my appointment to champion the “Mentor Mothers Model” programme in the
entire State, so that we can have an accelerated elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of
HIV.” – Salamatu Tanko Al-Makura, First Lady of Nasarawara State.
“The new advocacy role that the First Lady of Nasarawa has embarked on is an opportunity to
fast-track the end of new mother to child transmissions of HIV. With similar leadership in other
States, it is possible to ensure that no child in Nigeria is born with HIV in Nigeria by 2020.” – Dr.
Bilali Camara, UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for
ECOWAS.
About UNAIDS:
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to
achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related
deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP,
UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely
with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response.
Learn more about UNAIDS at www.unaids.org
Media Contact:
UNAIDS Nigeria | Charles-Martin Jjuuko | tel. +234 806 809 2984 | email: jjuukoc@unaids.org

UNIC intensifies outreach activities, urges students to shun discrimination against girls

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, has continued to intensify its educational outreach activities outside Lagos when it visited three schools: a University and two High Schools in Ibadan, Oyo State, South-West Nigeria, reaching over 250 students and teachers.

Students of the University of Ibadan

Students of the University of Ibadan


Engaging with the students of the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan; as well as Crystal International Academy and Boladayo College, in separate sessions, the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, highlighted the history, purpose and the works of the United Nations as well as the activities of the UN Information Centres.
National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun at Boladayo College, Ibadan

National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun at Boladayo College, Ibadan


In promoting elimination of violence against women and girls in line with the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls, Soremekun urged the students to shun all forms of discrimination against the girl child. He underscored the need to stop gender-based stereotypes that are disadvantageous to women and girls in comparison to the male gender.
UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun at Crystal International Academy, Ibadan.

UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun at Crystal International Academy, Ibadan.


“Stop violence against women! Stop inflicting pains on women and girls. Prevention is possible and essential” he added.
United Nations publications such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2014; the Basic Facts about the UN 2014; the UN Charter; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (English and translated copies in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages); the Freedom of Information Act; and Africa Renewal magazine, were presented to the management of the schools.
Oluseyi Soremekun addresses students of the University of Ibadan

Oluseyi Soremekun addresses students of the University of Ibadan

UNIC urges ANUNSA to promote peace on campus

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, has called on members of the All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA), University of Ibadan Chapter, to intensify their efforts in promoting peace and maintaining friendly relationship with other student and youth associations in the university community.

NIO presents UN publications to the President of ANUNSA UI, Chinazo Ofoma

NIO presents UN publications to the President of ANUNSA UI, Chinazo Ofoma


Making the call was the National Information Officer of UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, during a scheduled meeting with the Executive Committee of the association, at the ANUNSA Secretariat in Ibadan, Oyo State, South-West Nigeria.
Soremekun enjoined the leadership of the association to always follow the path of peace by embracing dialogue in resolving any emerging conflict.
In her welcome remarks, the President of the association, Ms Chinazo Ofoma , thanked UNIC for the historic visit and pledged that ANUNSA would live up to the expectations of the UN Information Centre. She disclosed that the Chapter, despite some challenges of funding, was able to develop and implement some programmes in the current year and would be visiting Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, by the middle of next month as part of its activities for the year.???????????????????????????????
The National Information Officer later presented copies of UN publications which included the MDG Report 2014; the Basic Facts about the UN 2014; the UN Charter; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages); the Freedom of Information Act; Africa Renewal; among others.

‘Orange Street’ surfaces in Lagos as UNIC and partners say No to violence against women

Lagos, 26 November 2014. In a carnival-like atmosphere spiced with drums, songs and dances, UNIC Lagos in its characteristic manner, created an ‘Orange Street’ yesterday as it mobilized over 350 people to ‘orange’ the Ikoyi neighbourhood of Lagos as one of the activities marking the observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, celebrated every 25 November.

'Orange Street' in Lagos

‘Orange Street’ in Lagos


The rally, tagged, ‘The Orange Rally’, organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos in collaboration with the Lagos State Government and a network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), was attended by representatives of sixteen government agencies; fifteen Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); fifteen media organisations; four UN Agencies; four secondary schools; one University and one Skill Acquisition Centre.
Lagos Deputy Governor  Hon. (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, addresses the 'Orange Rally' at UNIC premises

Lagos Deputy Governor Hon. (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, addresses the ‘Orange Rally’ at UNIC premises


In his message on the observance, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that women and girls experienced violence in all countries and neighbourhoods but those crimes often remained unreported and hidden. ‘We must end the silence’, he urged, ‘Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.’
L-R: Popular TV Newscaster, Bimbo Oloyede; Deputy Governor and Snr Public Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic

L-R: Popular TV Newscater, Bimbo Oloyede; Deputy Governor and Snr Public Information Officer, UNIC, Lagos, Envera Selimovic


The message read by the Senior Public Information Officer, Envera Selimovic, further called on everyone to ‘challenge discrimination and impunity and put a stop to the mindsets and customs that encourage, ignore or tolerate the global disgrace of violence against women and girls.’

Declaring the event open after her release of orange and blue balloons to symbolise the beginning of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Honourable (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, called on all stakeholders to work with government to put an end to violence against women. She noted that there was no justification for rape, sexual assault and violence against women. ‘Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation’, she added.

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun gives a closing remark

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun gives a closing remark

In his closing remarks, the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, urged parents to eschew those cultural stereotypes that do not promote gender equality especially those that outrightly discriminate against the girl child.

'Orange Rally'

‘Orange Rally’


The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marks the commencement of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence which ends on 10 December, the International Human Rights Day.

UNFPA supports nationwide deployment of software for medicines and commodities management

UNFPA LogoAn element of the National Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) Strategic Plan 2011-2015 for securing RH Products is the development of software for the collection of data essential for determining the needs of the country. As such, UNFPA through a series of strategic interventions has taken the lead in supporting the nationwide deployment of a reliable and efficient electronic Logistic Management Information System (eLMIS) for the effective management of essential medicines and commodities.
UNFPA supported the Government of Akwa Ibom State, in building the skill pool of the human resources of the State through training on eLMIS for the management of its commodities. The key objective of the roll out is to strengthen the capacity of the State RH/FP Logistics team to utilize the CHANNEL software to ensure sustainability, and effective coordination so as to provide easy access to Reproductive Health logistic data throughout the distribution pipeline in the country. Participants were drawn from the thirty-one (31) Local government of the state, who were the LGA Family Planning supervisors and their Assistant M&E Officers.
Today’s event marks the official handover of equipment (computers, hard drives, printers, and UPS) to be used for the CHANNEL application at the State Ministry of Health, thereby ensuring availability of reproductive health data and also for the dissemination of the 2012- 2013 Global Program to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS) survey reports. The GPRHCS Survey is part of a flagship intervention of the UNFPA’s global programme on strengthening Reproductive Health Commodity Security’s technical and financial assistance in the country.
GPRHCS programme in Nigeria is assessed through indicators outlined in the Performance Monitoring & Evaluation Global Framework, assessed through a special study conducted in the GPRHCS Stream 1 countries which allows for comparison of data across country lines and, enables analysis that will enhance the repositioning of family planning and emergency obstetric and new-born care aimed at meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This event, the fourth in a series of such support to the Government of Nigeria, is the first for the South South region.

UN Day 2014 marked with funfair in Lagos

It was a slightly cloudy Friday morning in Lagos. The streets looked normal – the traffic, cacophonous sound, the siren-blasting security vehicles; with vendors and hawkers dotting the major roads. As one veered off the expressway into one of the feeder roads Ajah, a Lagos suburb, a more euphonious sound faded in with an increasing decibel as one moved closer to the premises of Sunglee Formation School, Ajah, Lagos, the venue of the Day observance.

A presentation by the students of Sunglee Foundation School, Ajah Lagos

A presentation by the students of Sunglee Foundation School, Ajah Lagos


With funfair, over 200 students from Basic to Senior Secondary level presented country information of selected UN member States including recitation of their National Anthems, which drew a resounding applause from the guests. Of particular note was the drama presentation hinged on ‘The importance of community cooperation in fostering peace’ staged by the students.
A drama presentation by the students of Sunglee Foundation Schools, Ajah Lagos

A drama presentation by the students of Sunglee Foundation Schools, Ajah Lagos


The UN Day observance had started a day earlier with the visit to Falomo Senior High School, Ikoyi Lagos where over 50 students were engaged to discuss the United Nations and its works, as part of activities marking the 2014 United Nations (UN) Day.
In his message on the 2014 UN Day, the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, called for reaffirmation of commitment to the marginalized and vulnerable.
Students of Falomo Snr. High School, Ikoyi Lagos saying 'Happy Birthday UN'

Students of Falomo Snr. High School, Ikoyi Lagos saying ‘Happy Birthday UN’


The message read on his behalf by the Senior Public Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Envera Selimovic, added that everyone should ‘work in common cause for the common good.’
Selimovic charged the students to always be of good behaviour and worthy ambassadors of their families in order to excel in life.
Speaking on the occasion, the Proprietress of Sunglee Foundation Schools, Mrs Caroline Olaniyi, noted that global peace began with individual families and therefore, called on everyone to be instruments for promoting peace.
Envera Selimovic addresses the students

Envera Selimovic addresses the students


The Secretary General’s message was also translated into Yoruba Language and shared with the students of Falomo Senior High School and a live radio audience on ‘Faaji 106.5 FM Lagos by the National Information Officer of UNIC, Oluseyi Soremekun.SONY DSC