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UN, EU set aside $40m to eliminate violence against Nigerian women, girls

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The United Nations and European Union have set aside $40 million to carry out a massive campaign to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria.

Experts at the Media Engagement Meeting organised by Spotlight Initiative through collaboration of the United Nations, European Union and UNICEF said this campaign has become necessary giving the need for the urgent elimination of violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls and the need for the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Giving an overview of EU-Un Spotlight Initiatives, the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Sunbo Odebode said the EU and UN are focusing on Africa and the focus is “is to eliminate sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), reproductive health (RHs) and address related aspect of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SR-Rs)”.

She said the priority countries are Nigeria, Niger, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Mali but the “the total amount for Nigeria is $40million” and will focus on Adamawa, Ebonyi, Cross River, Lagos, Sokoto and Abuja.

To achieve this, she said through the Spotlight Initiatives, a comprehensive six pillar approach is adopted to ensure that all women and girls live a life free of violence, institutions are strengthened rather than human beings, prevention by using fair comments and norms, services are available for victims to access, global data on violence and rape; and the need for public awareness and stiff penalty for anyone adding and abating rape and violence against women and girls.

Human Rights Activist of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, James Ibor said the issue of discrimination against women is common and this has to change by creating strong awareness. Ibor who is a Calabar-based activist, said Nigeria ratified the Convention for the Elimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985 but international treaties can only go into effect when parliament has put in a corresponding domesticated law, thereby limiting the international treaties to disuse.

Executive Director, Gender Perspective in Development, Tammie Kamonke in her presentation “Prevention and Social norms Safeguarding the dignity of Women and Girls through Awareness of Women Rights including Sexual and Reproductive Rights” said “rights circle of gender based violence starts with the girl child in the womb”.


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Nigerian Women
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