By Ikenna Osuoha
Ms Isha Sesay, a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador, has listed legal prosecution, education and sensitisation as vital instruments to ending the growing menace of Gender Based Violence (GBV) globally.
She made this known in a virtual engagement with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, stressing that violence against women and girls was unacceptable.
The engagement was part of activities by the West and Central Africa Regional Office of the UNFPA to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD).
The day is annually marked on March 8 around the world to bring to the fore, issues that affect women and to celebrate women who were making giant strides in different areas of endeavour.
The global celebration has “CHOOSE TO CHALLENGE” as its theme for this year.
Sesay, a British journalist who worked as an anchor and correspondent for CNN International with interest in women and girls’ issues and an advocate for an equal world, said the political will of governments to implement laws that prohibit violence against women was also key to eradicating the menace.
She said “implementing laws to prosecute perpetrators of violence against women and girls is key.”
She condemned all forms of violence against women, blamed it on misconceptions that placed women as property, or men thinking that they have more rights over women.
The UNFPA ambassador called for education of women and girls to truly increase their potential to the advantage of the world.
She decried the statistics that about 40 per cent of women were forced into early marriage, thereby causing great loss of capital to the entire world.
According to her, educating a woman will go a long way in reducing maternal mortality rate around the globe.
Sesay emphasised the imperatives of sensitising religious and community leaders on the benefits of women’s education.
She said the involvement of the female gender in decision making in communities and in governance was also vital to ending violence against women, explaining that women were in better position to know and feel the pains of fellow women.
She, however, stressed that “there is a lot to do before equity or parity can be achieved.”
Sesay is a British journalist of Sierra Leonean descent who worked as an anchor and correspondent for CNN International, but left in 2018.
As UNFPA’s goodwill ambassador, she shared her personal life experiences, her journey as a journalist and her interest in women and girls’ issues, we well as efforts to achieve an equal world.