16 Days of Activism: Ending violence against women and girls
As part of the efforts to combat violence against women, a Civil Society Organization, Acts Alliance Forum Nigeria, yesterday, kick-started 16 Days of Activism.
The Activism tagged, 16 Days of Activism: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, was in commemoration of 2022 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The aim of the programmes, the organizers stated, was to end violence against women and girls as well as reduce harmful practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation.
The General Secretary, of the ChristianAids Council of Nigeria, Dr Evans Onyemara, stated that sexual and gender-based violence not only undermines the safety, dignity, overall health and human rights of the abused but also affects public health, socioeconomic well-being and security of communities.
Onyemara informed that in Nigeria, the prevalence of gender-based violence is growing astronomical with the increase in armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.
“The harmful practices of child marriage and female genital mutilation prevalent across the country, trafficking in women, girls and children have resulted in heightened vulnerability manifested in stigmatization and rejection by families and communities.”
He added that the political and economic impact of some life-changing events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s October 2020 End-SARS crisis threatened the few gains that have been recorded in this struggle as the country witnessed the exposure of deep structural inequalities and exacerbated occurrences of various forms of violence against women and girls.
According to him, “There is a common trend to see women defenders routinely targeted with harassment, hate speech, discrimination, dissemination of personal or intimate information, defamation and other forms of online violence to silence and punish their public participation in social media.”
According to him, gender inequality, injustice and gender-based violence have to end. “Hence, all citizens and duty bearers of Nigeria, including organizations and networks groups should not give up in the fight for equity.”
He noted that vital to achieving this goal is the task of dismantling the connections between religion and culture that relegate women to the private sphere, where violence most frequently occurs.