The UN system in Nigeria represented by UNICEF, UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO and UNIC, under the auspices of Spotlight Initiatives, on 2 – 3 August 2018, held a Youth engagement dialogue and a CSOs consultative session as part of the process in the development of Country Programmes Document for the Spotlight Initiatives to end violence against women and girls.
The Spotlight Initiatives, a global development partnership framework of the United Nations and the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in support of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, is being coordinated in Nigeria by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office.
The Initiative is so named as it brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The youth interactive dialogue identified challenges many activists and NGOs face in the fight against violence. They included lack of security and funding, non-inclusion of people with disabilities during policy formulation, lack of information for people living in rural areas, poverty, cultural interference, lack of inclusion of gender equality in school curriculum and lack of media support.
Recommendations at the end of the dialogue included establishing youth friendly spaces where youth can freely express their opinions; individual efforts to sensitize the society; as well as using products and services to advocate for an end to violence against women and girls.
Providing guidance to the CSOs representatives for group discussions, Ms Patience Ekeoba of UN Women Nigeria, requested the CSOs to discuss in-depth and make presentations on the following: Organisations working on prevention of violence and harmful practices broadly; Organisations that work mainly on SGBV in education; Organisations that work on GBV services; Organisations that work mainly on data collection and researches; Women’s Rights Organisations working to promote women’s rights, address GBV and harmful practices as well as Minority Groups working to end GBV.
The group presentations were insightful, revealing and interesting.