UN centre set to eradicate gender-based violence in Nigeria
The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with Women Arise has joined forces with gender activists to create awareness on violence against women and girls.
This was disclosed at a conference on Gender Based Violence in Nigeria, to marking the 16 days of global activism against gender-based violence.
Director of the Centre, Ronald Kiyanga, said 43 per cent of Nigerian girls were married before the age of 18, adding this was a major cause for worry.
He noted with concern the increasing rate at which women and girls are being marginalised and violated sexually, economically and physically in the country.
Kiyanga stressed how eager the United Nations was in ending girl child marriage in Nigeria, stating the plans of the United Nations in uniting all genders by 2030.
Speaking, President of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odunmakin, highlighted the different levels of gender-based violence, ranging from the home, work places and the society at large.
She lamented that out of every three girls on the street, one must have gone through some sort of violation, adding: “Violence and justice are gender blind.”
She urged men to also speak out when they are abused and that silence was no longer golden.
“Silence in pains renders the victims weak, depressed and suppressed. There is, therefore, the need for a society to be free from violence against women, girls and men, leaving no one behind.”
The Special Guest of Honor and wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, expressed gratitude to the Centre, saying: “Nigerian leaders at all levels must unite to create awareness and tackle the very important issue of gender-based violence.”
While lamenting that the increasing cases of rape of minors was a major concern to the Ogun State government, she stressed that the dimensions of violence against women and girls are very worrisome.
“The Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun has just signed a prohibit law against women and girl violators. The Ogun State government is working hard to ensure a safe and better environment for women and girls,” she stated.
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