In commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the United Nations (UN) has called for enhanced measures to ensure speedy access to justice for survivors and victims of GBV in Nigeria and other African countries.
The 16 Days of Activism against GBV is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, which is the Human Rights Day.
According to UN, there should be investments in data collection, evidence gathering and legal support services to speed up the process.
SDG Five: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Speaking at the orange ceremony and lighting of the UN building to commemorate the day in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Mathias Schmale, said perpetrators of violence need to be reliably prosecuted.
He said, ‘We need large-scale investments in data collection, evidence gathering, and provision of legal support services to ensure access to justice is quick and unhindered’.
‘Perpetrators of violence need to be reliably prosecuted; we must also pool resources to protect women and girls in humanitarian settings, including those affected by the recent catastrophic flooding’.
According to him, the lighting of the UN House was to show solidarity with the victims of GBV and that the orange signifies the UN’s commitment to a brighter future free of violence against women and girls.
Estimates published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that globally about one in three (30 percent) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Also, United Nations data show that in Nigeria, 30 percent of girls and women aged
between 15 and 49 are reported to have experienced sexual abuse.
For her part, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Beatrice Eyong, said support in designing and implementing strategies and result-oriented programmes towards ending GBV should be year-round.
She noted that the world must sustain the momentum for a brighter future where men and women, girls and boys enjoy equal rights, devoid of discrimination and all forms of violence.
Photo source: UNFPA