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UN women, EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Partner for WIFTI, urge improvement in nation’s global gender gap index

By Tobi Awodipe
02 December 2021   |   2:50 am
United Nations (UN) Women through the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with leading women from the creative arts industry recently launched the Nigerian chapter

Participants at the UN Women, EU-UN Spotlight Initiative

United Nations (UN) Women through the Joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with leading women from the creative arts industry recently launched the Nigerian chapter of the Forum for Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI).

In attendance at the launch of this network were the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Convener of the Women in Film and Television International (Nigerian chapter), Joke Silva, Rita Dominic, Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, John Donnelly; United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard; First Lady of Kebbi State, Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu; UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Comfort Lamptey and other stakeholders.

Lamptey said their focus is on women in the creative arts industry and advancing their rights. “The 2020 global gender gap index places Nigeria at 128 out of 153 countries, there is a lot of work to be done. This shows why this partnership with WIFTI is extremely important.”

WIFTI, a global network dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video, and other screen-based media and in recognition of the important role the media and entertainment industry play in shaping attitudes, norms and culture within society, the launch of the Nigeria Chapter will provide an important organising platform for women in this field to respond to gender-related priorities within their industry, whilst also facilitating their efforts to champion gender equality and women’s empowerment more broadly in Nigeria.

Convener, WIFTI Nigeria, Ajoke Silva appreciated the immense support from UN Women on the push to begin the Nigerian Network of this chapter, “We’ve all been working individually on advocating for women rights in the film industry, working with UN Women brought us together to work as a collective and to work in collaboration on issues that we believe affect women and girls, we know the power that we carry in this sector, we know we have the power to shape minds, now we are going to learn together and work together for the good of womankind, humankind and Nigeria.”

Dame Tallen expressed her thanks to UN Women and Silva for the initiative, saying it clearly shows that there is hope for Nigerian women and this has set the tone for others to follow.

“As much as we work to support the government to translate international commitment on women’s rights into practice and into laws and policies on the ground, we are also very much an organization rooted in women’s movement in civil society, because we believe when women come together as a collective, they are a powerful force for change,” Lamptey said.

Drawing attention to the 30th year commemoration of the 16th Days of activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence, Tallen utilized the opportunity to call for the end to violence against women and girls, stressing the importance for victims to speak out in other for justice to be served.