GBV:UN Women seeks collective efforts to end menace

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The UN Women on Tuesday called for collective efforts to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls in the country. Ms Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made the call in Abuja during a media briefing and Orange Lighting of the UN building.

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She explained that the event was to strengthen partnership among UN agencies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the media, Civil societies, the diplomatic community and development partners.

Eyong added that the event was also to increase visibility and public support for the 16 Days of Activism against GBV. The theme for the programme is, “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.”

“It is a clarion call for all,” she said, and explained that the Orange lightning of the iconic building was one of the many actions being taken to commemorate the 16 days of Activism against GBV.

According to her, the light initiative is integral to the UN Women and the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign, to symbolise a brighter future without violence.

She said the orange came from the fire ignited by the many women groups dedicated to combating violence against women around the world.

“We need to work together in unity to deal with this menace in order to achieve meaningful  and sustainable impact. We all need to invest resources, energy and time to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. In Nigeria, 30 per cent of girls and women aged between  15 and 49 reported having experienced sexual abuse. The Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey shows that 14 per cent of women in Nigeria have experienced physical violence. These unfortunate realities of our time call for collective and systematic efforts in dealing with the menace,” she added.

The country representative said that the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act signed into law in Nigeria in 2015, prohibits all forms of violence against persons in both private and public life.

Eyong said it also provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of  offenders.

“It is heartening to note that the VAPP Act has been domesticated in almost all states of the federation. We must sustain the momentum by investing and strengthening mechanisms for polarisation and effective  implementation of the VAPP Act,” she said.

 

NAN/Wumi