President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday acknowledged the worsening of cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the country due to the blocking measures introduced to control the spread of COVID-19.
She said it in a message of goodwill to mark the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that starts today.
Buhari stated that sexual and gender-based violence in all its forms had been recurrent, especially given the alarming statistics of violence against vulnerable people registered in Nigeria, particularly women and girls.
Buhari, who said he was aware of the unfortunate situation from reports of incidents in the country, highlighted the actions taken by the government to address the issue, according to a statement from his spokesman Garba Shehu.
Sexual violence (rape and sexual assault) accounted for 17 percent of total reported incidents and forced marriage was 10 percent according to a gender-based violence (GBV) subsector, Mid-Year Report, based on 1.3 million people with 45 percent and 34 percent of the target population are girls and women, respectively.
In July, an inter-ministerial committee to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence was formed in response to cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the country resulting from the COVID-19 lockdowns. The Senate had also passed the sexual harassment bill in support of the legislative agenda to protect women’s rights.
The # 16daysofactivism against gender violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
The campaign runs annually from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until December 10, Human Rights Day.
It was started in 1991 by the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University.