The Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) has raisesed concern over the emerging trend of the widespread pandemic of gender-based violence in Nigeria, with more deaths recorded in recent times.
The WARDC in a statement on Monday, said the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a time to direct world attention to the problem of GBV.
This period should be a time where all a sundry should be committed to fighting the scourge and cast light on the radar on the long-term effects of violence on members of society.
This call is coming ahead of this year’s theme on the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based “Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence against Women and Girls” and it aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and girls.
This statement is issued on The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
According to the Founding Director of WARDC, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi “We call on the Federal Government to create more institutions that can address the root causes of gender-based violence, the impunity that often goes with the scourge, implement policies and enact laws, for a stronger national response that can support victims and survivors of violence.”
She states that ‘The 16 Days of Activism against GBV is also a time to remember victims and survivors of GBV and further re-evaluate the effectiveness of interventions currently in place to address the problem. This year alone WARDC was able to respond to about 2,151 cases of gender-based violence, most of which were domestic violence’
Domestic violence takes many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, economic and mental. Traditionally, domestic violence is mostly committed against females. Common forms of violence against women in Nigeria are rape, acid attacks, molestation, wife beating, and corporal punishment.
She said, “GBV is hindering national productivity as it is occurring amongst people in the productive age group who are having to deal with the negative physical and psychological consequences of the vice.’
“There should be continuous review of the existing policies and laws on GBV in order to accommodate best practices of GBV strategies in nipping the scourge in the bud. ‘ She however acknowledges the recent stride by the Ogun State House of Assembly for the passage into law of the Violence Against Person Prohibition Law in Ogun State and calls on the Governor of the State , Senator Ibikunle Amosu to take positive steps in ensuring that the bill becomes a Law in the State as soon as possible.”
As WARDC commences a two-week long public awareness program on “Leave No One Behind: Ending Violence against Women and Girls”, the two-weeks long awareness will have at different times, symbolic ‘football match which will symbolically kick out GBV in four locations’ Lagos, Bauchi, Borno and Ogun State.”