By Michael Oche
The Good Governance Team (GGT), a non governmental organisation has called for urgent collective actions to raise awareness on gender based violence, especially violence against women and girls.
In a statement by Tunde Salman, Team Lead /Convener, Good Governance Team Nigeria, the group said violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights abuses that is detrimental to both the individual and society.
To commemorate the United Nations 16-Day Activism on Sexual and Gender Violence Against Women, Salman said GGT’s vision aligns with the UN and other stakeholders to campaign, emphasizing that violence against women cannot be tolerated under any circumstances, anywhere, and at any time.
“As a matter of urgency, GGT is calling on the governments of all States in Nigeria and gender-related agencies (public or private) to participate in educating the masses on gender violence. It is believed that since gender violence is a learned behaviour, it can also be unlearned,” he noted.
According to the UN, the estimated number of victims of women’s violence is 736 million.
Salman said even though most of the abuses remain shrouded in a culture of silence, they have serious, momentary and durable physical, socioeconomic and psychological consequences for women and girls.
He noted that by increasing awareness on the issues, it will help women and girls understand their rights and the need to report them when they are violated.
He said, “Unravelling the peculiar root causes of gender-based violence is also important; believing and supporting victims of gender-based violence should be encouraged; a non-harmful approach to dealing with harmful traditions, especially those that support female genital mutilation, should be encouraged; women’s economic empowerment and gender-inclusive governance are necessary; and girls and boys should be the focus of any campaign on gender roles and issues.
“Girl-child education should be encouraged. This will help prevent child marriage and other related forms of gender violence. Promoting good governance that fights insecurity, creates jobs and employment, and supports climate justice, that is poised to allocate resources for the prevention and good response to violence against women, and that invests in women’s rights organizations. Of utmost importance is the enactment and enforcement of laws that promote gender equality. These could also help reduce the vulnerability of women to gender violence.”