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EU, UN Invest €500m In Fight Against Sexual, Gender-based Violence

THE European Union (EU) and the United Nations Spotlight Initiative have invested 500 million euros in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)  among women and girls globally.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, said this on Friday at the private screening of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) feature film on gender based violence.

The film, with the title, “Deafening Silence”, was produced to create awareness on the ills of SGBV and Violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Nigeria.


Isopi said the Spotlight Initiative, a global “alliance” with the European Union, launched the partnership with UN in 2018 with the aim of putting an end to gender-based violence.

“In Nigeria, the programme ended in 2023. I would like to recognise and celebrate…the results achieved in creating awareness, mobilising stakeholders, and launching a positive initiative that we hope will be sustained.

“I am confident that the film will help maintain the momentum and keep the spotlight on gender-based violence, with some key objectives.

“First, to break the silence and fight the stigma; second, to realise the need for action and mobilise.

“Third, to convey the message that everyone has a role to play (in the family, community, and the society).

“If each person after watching the movie becomes aware, speaks out, spreads the word, and acts, we will have contributed to making change possible,’’ she said.

According to her, one in three women and girls experience gender-based violence in Nigeria, Europe, and across the world.

“I would like to dedicate this movie to the victims of gender-based violence and to tell them that there is hope and hope for positive change by keeping the hope alive.

“We know the power of art and culture as drivers of social change and vehicle for reaching out to millions of people across the society to challenge stereotypes and promote cultural and behavioural change.

“At the European Union, we are proud to be part of this unique media, cultural, and social initiative, which includes the movie – Deafening Silence.’’ she said.

Speaking also at the event, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms Elsie Attafuah, said silence was uncomfortable, especially when one is expected to speak, hence, the need to feel uncomfortable when there’s a deafening silence on SGBV and VAWG.

“Today we gather to embark on a journey that challenges entrenched gender norms and advocates for the eradication of SGBV and VAWG in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.

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