COMENTUM Country and Global Leadership (MCGL), a global partnership for health and resilience, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works to end Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) has called for adequate budgetary allocation to reduce or totally eradicate the menace in the country.
Its Project Director, Chioma Oduenyi, made the call in Abuja at a Colloquium and Round Table Discussion with Gender Advisors/Managers/Officers of USAID
It is commemorate the 2022 16-Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV) on the theme; “UniTE Activism against Gender-Based Violence.”
Oduenyi expressed worry that GBV cases continue to increase amidst laws and policies in place such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act (CRA), stating that GBV is a human rights violation driven by gender inequalities.
She noted that SGBV is detrimental to health and encouraged more victims to speak up and get the necessary help, while also condemning in strong terms the killing of the Labour Party Woman Leader Victoria Chintex at a time when the world is advocating against all forms of violence against persons.
“No woman should die because she is occupying a space in politics, and on the other side we are promoting and canvassing for women inclusion this kind of incidence will make women run back from politics,.
“Nobody has the right to kill another human being and worse off, a woman, at a time when we are talking about women’s political participation and we see things like a woman leader being killed is very unfortunate and highly condemnable ,” she stressed.
“There is need for adequate budgetary allocation to strengthen all levels of government including the traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to handle matters of harmful and discriminatory gender norms.
“Nigeria is making progress in the fight against GB and we can speak about it as a topical area of discuss unlike before when GBV was shrouded in secrecy and everybody believed that it is a family affair. Sensitization and awareness creation has improved the mindsets of citizens that, everybody talks about it now and that’s progress,” she added.
She also called for the establishment and strengthening of GBV task force; a mechanism put in place to bring together all thoughts, as well as expand multi-sectoral partnerships to ending GBV.
“The idea of task force theme is to make responses to GBV more effective because no one organisation can take care of all the needs of a GBV survivors so the team is to help in different ways to take care of the needs of GBV survivors,” she explained.
Speaking at the Colloquium, Head, Gender unit at the Nigeria Securities and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) , lamented that lack of budgetary allocation has stalled the effective fight against the increasing cases of GBV crime from the society.
Meanwhile, a Medical Health practitioner Dr. Shittu, noted that cultural norms and poverty prevents women from assessing healthcare services such as family planning, urging that specialized messages should be designed for couples not women alone on the need for seeking Healthcare.
Also, a representative of the Integrated Health Project in Ebonyi state, Emilia Okon, urged stakeholders to improve and sustain strategies in tackling GBV to enable more victims speak up to get necessary intervention.