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FG says Nigeria records 27,698 cases of SGBV in 6 states

The minister called for nationwide implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, saying it would help in reducing SGBV cases.

Minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye. [Voice of Nigeria]

Kennedy-Ohanenye disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Friday, in commemoration of this year’s global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the global observance, which runs from Nov. 25 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day), is a key international moment to call for an end to violence against women and girls.

The celebration has “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls” as the theme for 2023

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The minister, therefore, called for nationwide implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, saying it would help in reducing SGBV cases.

She added that “statistics from the GBV Data Situation room estimates that 35 per cent of women, with one in every three Nigerian females experience violence at some point in their lives, mostly by an intimate partner.

“In the last year, Nigeria, under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative programme being implemented in six states (Adamawa, Lagos, Sokoto, Cross River, Ebonyi and the FCT), recorded 27,698 cases of SGBV between 2020 and 2023.

“In the recorded cases, there were 1,145 fatal GBV cases; with 393 perpetrators convicted; 9,636 as open cases; 3,432 new cases; 1,741 as closed cases and 1,895 follow-up cases, among others, within the period under review.

“It is commendable that the states have adopted the VAPP Act, but the government at that level must ensure full implementation of the Act to protect women and children from all forms of violence.

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“This year’s theme in particular calls for accountability and improved investment in girl-child education, ICT, women's socio-economic advancement and empowerment, and investment in ending all forms of violence.

“Investments must be made to end violence, especially rape, sexual abuse, battery, molestation, harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM), widowhood rites and disinheritance, among others.

“If current trends continue, more than 340 million women and girls will live in extreme poverty by 2030, and one in four will experience moderate or severe food insecurity.

“Growing vulnerability brought by human-induced climate change is likely to worsen this outlook, as many as 236 million more women and girls will be food-insecure, under a worst-case climate scenario.”

The minister also said that halfway to the endpoint of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, the world is failing to achieve gender equality, thus making it an increasingly distant goal.

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“There is no hiding place for all violators of our girls and women, as we consider this important theme for this year’s commemoration.

“I want us all to ponder on the level and kind of investment that over the years have accrued to women and girls and for our institutions, MDAs, development partners and bilateral, multilateral and indeed the private sector,” she added.

Also, Matthias Schmale, United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, called for more empowerment of women and girls, as well as protection through the VAPP Act and increased budgetary allocation.

He said the UN Unite Campaign works in solidarity with relevant governments, development partners, Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs), women groups, the private sector and the media to call for an end to violence against women.

He said “We are estimating that globally, a staggering 736 million women, that is one in three women around the globe have suffered sexual and or physical intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their lives.

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“Violence negatively affects women’s physical mental health and well-being at all stages of their lives and the impact on national development.

“Unfortunately, violence against girls and women remains one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violations in the world.”

Schmale said many countries have passed laws to combat violence against women and girls “but weak enforcement and discriminatory social norms remain the problems.”

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