The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA)has called for stakeholders’ collaboration to support families and communities to respond adequately to Gender Based Violence (GBV) through raising of awareness and prioritising health.
Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minsiter of Women Affairs disclosed this at a Stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Stakeholders Validation Meeting on the Communication Strategy on Ending all Forms of GBV and Harmful Practices against Women and Girls is aimed at strengthening government-wide approaches to address GBV.
Tallen, who was represented by Mr Adamu Sumaila, Deputy Director, FMWA, said there was need to leverage on the current efforts and resources to address GBV in a holistic, efficient and effective manner.
According to her, the effects of GBV and
women and girls affects the entire
communities women and girls, men and boys differently.
“ Promoting gender equality and the
empowerment of Women and girls serves as catalyst to addressing problem of gender inequality patriarchy and gender stereo-typing.
“The scale of sexual gender based violence against women and girls and discrimination is alarming.
“ The spike pattern trends, and the consequences of these forms of violence impact negatively on individuals families
communities, and country in general.
“ Violence against women and girls, gender inequality patriarchy and harmful cultural
practices significantly inhibits women’s potentials to fully contribute their quota and participate in rational development,” she said.
Tallen added that there could not be a conversation about human rights on
human dignity without talking about the right of every woman to be free from violence and fear.
She said that when women
succeed, the country would be more safe, more secure, and more
prosperous, hence the need for all stakeholders to join hands in eradicating GBV out of the society.
In the same vein, Dr Zubaida Abubakar, Gender/GBV Specialist, UNFPA said the strategy had incorporated creative ways to challenge the status quo while empowering women and girls to find their voice without fear of stigma.
Abubakar said that the communication strategy document when deployed by government, development partners, NGOs and CBOs, would serve as a road map for the elimination of all forms of GBV and harmful practices against women and girls.
Also, Dr Christopher Ugboko, Head, Gender Adolescent School Health and Elderly Care (GASHE) division, Federal Ministry of Health, called for attitudinal change for the document to work.
Ugboko, represented by Mr Steven Nwankwo, Principal Health Assistant, Federal Ministry of Health, said the ministry of health was working on a national action plan to gender response which would facilitate an end to GBV.
Mrs Lois Auta, president, Network of Disabled Women, called for prompt action towards ending GBV in the country as over 25 million population are living with disability.
“ In Nigeria, over 25 million are living with disabilities. Out of this number, 15 per cent are women and girls.
“ We are more vulnerable to GBV. When a woman on a wheel chair is attacked, how can she help herself or a blind woman is attacked, how will she know who attacked her.
“ There is therefore need to act fast in ending this menace,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the objective of the communication strategy was to facilitate a broad assessment of the advocacy brief as well as activate the implementation of media campaign to ending GBV, among others.