The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, on Tuesday has stressed the need for a high-quality policing and justice response to bring to an end Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria.
Represented by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Mr. Edward Kallon, Guterres made the call during a media briefing and lighting event to commemorate the 16 days of activism to end violence against Women and girls in Abuja. This was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs with the support of other stakeholders including the British Council under its European Union (EU) funded programmes; the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme and the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme.
According to the UN Secretary-General,the government need to take more proactive action by the means of increasing more funding, prevention mechanism, response, as well as collect data on GBV to eliminate the menace in the society.
He said “We call on the need for a high-quality police and justice response. We know that a positive initial contact experience with police is crucial for survivors of violence.
“As the UN, we stand with survivors and support women’s representation in peace and security, by building the justice sector response, particularly that of law enforcement, that receives cases involving violence against women and girls.”
Guterres said the increased violence against women, recorded during the covid-19 lockdown, compelled the UN system to develop a global engagement strategy to scale up its efforts in eliminating the menace, therefore stressing the need for more advocacy, strengthening of women CSOs and engaging influencers at all levels and mobilise the social and cultural shift necessary to end GBV in the society.
EU Ambassador, Ketil Karlsen, represented by Mr. Paulo Simoes, Political Officer, politics, Press and Information said Nigeria was one of the leading country in the fight to eliminate violence against women and children.
Karlsen, urge the government on intensifying its efforts and invest more in the lives of women and girls as one of the strategies to end all forms of GBV.
Similarly, the UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, said the inadequate one major constraints of the fight has been the issue of funding, stating that it has limited implementation efforts to address GBV.
Lamptey, therefore called for an effective coordination of the multiple source of data information on GBV, as well as engaging the youths in the forefront of the advocacies to ensure a society free from GBV.
She further stressed the need for protection, comprehensive treatment and care for survivors of violence, as well as the prosecution of perpetrators to end GBV.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen said the 2020 theme for the campaign, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect’’ will aide in amplifying the voices of women and girls to be protected from all forms of violence.
Tallen, said the recent launch of the National Data Situation Room to record incidences of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) across the country would reduce the prevalence of the menace and ensure offenders were prosecuted.
Tallen said the situation room would allow decision makers and programme managers to analyse, view and respond to widespread incidences of violence against women and girls.
Also, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouq represented by the Head, Special Duties, Nadia Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the ministry in ending violence against women and girls.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said it was critical to scale-up existing and develop new programmes that were gender responsive to empower women and girls, as well as end GBV.
“It is imperative that government and particularly those in Africa prioritize
the empowerment and advancement of women in all spheres is society, especially places relating to their socio-economic well being.
“This is especially significant as given the emerging data demonstrating the impact of representation and of well being in position of leadership and being decision makers, “she stressed.