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UNESCO, NACCIMA, others decry increased violence against women in Nigeria

By Matthew Ogune, Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Yetunde Ayobami Ojo (Lagos)
10 December 2021   |   4:00 am
The Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) has deplored statistics, which show that violence against women increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• NBS deploys tool for data gathering as stakeholders seek more advocacy
The Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) has deplored statistics, which show that violence against women increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This came as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) deployed a statistical tool for data gathering called, ‘Gender Based Violence (GBV) Case Information Management System (GBVCIMS).

At launch of the tool, Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Simon Harry, said it would be used to collect data on all forms of GBV in the country.

NATCOM-UNESCO Secretary-General, Olagunju Idowu Lateef, who frowned at the development, yesterday, stressed the need to combat violence against women and girls, especially during the pandemic.

She spoke in Abuja during launch of the Tabitha Cumi Foundation’s (TCB) Flash Actions On Girls Safety (FLAGS) project in the country,

Lateef said UNESCO has mandated all its member states to support the United Nations Secretary General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.

ALSO, the Publisher/Managing Director, Judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Mrs. Adejoke Layi-Babatunde, urged women to increase advocacy against domestic and sexual violence.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion entitled, ‘Heal and Build Confidence’, organised by Bomarah Foundation in Lagos, Layi-Babatunde described as alarming the report that Lagos recorded over 10,000 cases of domestic and sexual violence during the lockdown last year.

Noting that the development should be of concern to every woman, she insisted women must be bold and courageous to speak up against the problem in public places, including churches and mosques.

Vice Chairperson, ENL Consortium, Princess (Dr.) Vicky Hasstrup, in a lecture on ‘Women Empowerment’, outlined cultural, political, educational, religious and social values as factors militating against women’s development in the country.

She urged women to break these barriers by taking part in community activities and development, stressing the need to believe in themselves and in their capabilities.

“Nobody will do this for us. Whatever your chosen area is, get somebody to mentor you. Determine where you are going and how to get there. Women need to work together if they hope to be politically relevant and take over power from men,” she said.

This came as Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (Women Wing) called for more concrete action in tackling violence against women and girls.

Chairperson of NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG), Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, in a statement, in Abuja, stressed the need for government to scale up comprehensive, accessible and quality services for survivors and victims.

Abubakar, also a former Minister of Women Affairs, noted that nearly one in three women aged 15 years and above, around the world, have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime.

According to her, the statistics indicate that the levels of violence against women and girls have remained largely unchanged over the last decade.