Canadian envoy, NGO lament prevalence of gender-based violence in Nigeria
Launch campaign to curb menace, boost legislations
Acting Canadian High Commissioner, Kevin Tokar, and Chief Executive of non-governmental organisation, Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, have described the data representing Nigeria’s position on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as a representation of deep-rooted gender discrimination and a notorious culture of impunity.
They disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, at an event to kick start the second phase of Galvanizing Mass Action Against Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria (GMAA-K).
Lawal lamented that the country has the third highest rates of SGBV in the world, with data showing that at least 30 per cent of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have experienced one or multiple forms of sexual abuse.
He regretted that accessing justice and support remains a challenge for victims, while perpetrators often walk free. He maintained that the challenge is further heightened by lack of laws and policies to protect the most vulnerable and punish convicted offenders.
He said the main objective of the campaign is to develop a multi-year Kano State Action Plan to end all forms of gender-based violence, as well as drive the adoption and integration of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child’s Right Act.
On his part, Tokar noted that SGBV is a crisis in Nigeria that must be condemned. He noted: For the past few years, we’ve seen a number of states in Nigeria pass and start to implement the VAPP Act, which has given us hope. But not all states have achieved this important milestone and much more work is needed.”