The federal government has reiterated its commitment to protecting women and girls against gender-based violence (GBV) and the advancement of their rights.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, stated this at a symposium commemorating 16 days of activism against GBV organised by the Voice Communities of Practice (CoP) in Abuja.
Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye, represented by the principal community development officer in the Gender Affairs Department, Edo Ekata, said the issue of GBV remained a global menace.
“Statistics show that one in three of all women and girls aged 15-49 have been victims of violence, and one in every five have experienced physical violence in Nigeria.
“Also, 31 per cent have experienced sexual violence while five per cent of women have experienced physical violence during pregnancy,” she said.
Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye said the ministry, as a national gender machinery, left no stone unturned in advocating that Nigeria was fit for all.
“Nigeria is a place where women and girls are given a voice and space to excel.
“I am optimistic that with the support of relevant stakeholders and with everyone playing their part, we will bring GBV and other gender-based related cases to the barest minimum,” she said.
Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye said the ministry had taken giant steps to stem the tide of the menace by including the launch of the sex offender register to name and shame GBV perpetrators.
The minister added that through the ministry’s efforts, directives had been given to establish specialised funds for the eradication of GBV in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Ali Pate, also expressed the federal government’s commitment to tackle GBV in the country.
Mr Pate, represented by chief health assistant, Nwankwo Okezie, said there were several forms of GBV that are coming up in disguise and are yet to be reported in the media.
He said the ministry was also involved in capacity building, management of survivors of GBV, and partnership of all stakeholders to address.
A legal practitioner, Bukola Ajao, stressed the need for collaboration between states and CSOs for the effective implementation of the VAPP Act.