Sacrifice all to fight GBV, ICWWA, ASWAN task FG, stakeholders

The Regional Director of International Community of women Living with HIV/AIDS West Africa (ICWWA) Assumpta Reginald, has charged all stakeholders to sacrifice everything at their disposal to fight the menace of Gender Based Violence (GBV), stressing that it was time the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) goal 5 which is to reduce incidences of violence is achieved in the country.

Reginald who is also the National Coordinator Association of Positive women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN) made the call in Abuja during a press briefing to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrated on the organisation’s theme, “Women in Leadership: Ending all forms of Gender Based Violence in the era of Covid-19”.

She expressed worry that the stay at home policy due to the outbreak of covid-19 increased intimate partner violence, adding that there was an upsurge in the rate of physical or sexual violence against women and girls experience.

She explained that GBV is currently a global pandemic deeply rooted in gender inequalities, describing this as “fundamentally a human rights violation.

She said, “Gender Based Violence is often used interchangeably with violence against women, reflecting the number of these particular crimes against women.

“It is a global pandemic deeply rooted in gender inequalities, and is fundamentally a human rights violation. GBV has no social or economic boundaries. It is present in all countries both the rich and the poor countries Nigeria inclusive and it affects socioeconomic groups”, she added.

Explaining further she lamented that women and girls experienced physical or sexual violence at some point following the stay at home policy in the country.

“Intimate partner violenc was on the increase during the Covid19, women suffered the brunt of it because they lack the will to negotiate sex with their partners.

“One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) is the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls,” she noted

The Director therefore tasked the federal government NGO’S, Religious leaders and all relevant stakeholders on the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in order to totally eradicate incidences of GBV in the country.

“We also recommend increase in funding for women empowerment across the  15 high burdened states of Covid-19 for women who lost their daily businesses to Covid-19, empowering women economically can help reduce their vulnerability to abuse.

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