UN Women, Private Sector Launch $25m GBV Fund

Mnena Iyorkegh, Abuja

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UN Women and partners launched a twenty five million dollars private sector-led Gender Base Violence (GBV) fund to promote and  improve the capacity of women in doing business.

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The fund is expected to be a contribution from private sector organisations in Nigeria, which goes beyond corporate social responsibility to intentional gender-responsive and gender-specific interventions that will curb violence against women and girls and enhance women’s empowerment.

UN Women Regional Director for West & central Africa, Mr. Maxime Houinato who is in Nigeria for an executive visit, met with representatives of the private sector companies and CEOs where the 25 million private sector-led GBV Fund was launched.

The high-level roundtable meetings with the private sector were organised in Lagos by WISCAR and WIMBIZ, which are leading economic empowerment non-profit organisations focusing on promoting women-owned businesses and improving the capacity of women in doing business.

Mr.Houinato reiterated that the private sector plays a critical cross-cutting role in advancing gender equality & women’s empowerment, including women’s political participation, economic empowerment, and violence against women and girls, and therefore should escalate its efforts in promoting and investing in issues of women’s livelihood and access to economic opportunities.

UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Beatrice Eyong, in her remark, stated that the financial implication of GBV is enormous and insisted that if the prevalence of violence against women and girls reduces, family income and earnings will improve and so will the economy of the society at large.

The launch of the $25 million Private Sector-led GBV Fund is a landmark in UN Women Nigeria’s effort to increase private sector participation and investment in GEWE initiatives in Nigeria.

The private sector is a key stakeholder in community development.

As a major contributor to national income and a significant job creator and employer, it contributes to advancements in technology, governance, research development, workforce development and capacity building. The private sector plays an important role in the promotion and advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment. With the GBV fund, UN Women is charting a new direction in addressing at a large scale the prevalence of women and girls in Nigeria. This laudable initiative will make resources available for strategic GEWE interventions and improve for GBV survivors, access to justice, livelihood and other economic opportunities.

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