By Shola Akingboye- 26th November 2020
The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Tony Ojukwu has continued to the decried spates of Gender Base Violence in the country, as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day on Elimination of Violence against women and girls.
At a press conference organised in Abuja by the Commission to kick start the 16-days of activism on violence against women and girls, the ES Human Rights noted that the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence cuts across class, geography, culture, etc. He said such is associated with negative effects that impede progress in many areas of lives including Nigeria’s obligation to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals.
As the Commission, however, began the sixteen days of activism against violence against women and girls today 25th November to 10th December 2020, the Human Rights Commission boss laments that violence has subjected women to poverty, hunger, health-related issues, education, gender equality, peace, and security said despite the already high incidence of cases of violations against women and girls, there was an alarming increase of violations that were recorded following the lockdown which was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ojukwu in his address revealed a shocking revelation that, between March and June 2020, the Commission has received and treated 232 cases of various forms of violence against women and girls from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
While called on relevant stakeholders to effectively play their roles in preventing and eliminating violence against women, the human rights boss disclosed that to show commitment to ending the menace, the Commission in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) launched a mobile app called UNSUB, a platform that connects survivors of SGBV to service providers.
He added that the platform provides information on access to support system for survivors of SGBV, he further urged everyone to leverage on the use of technology in providing support for survivors.
On the 16 days of the Commission’s Activism, however, Mr Ojukwu said it has become a wake-up call on all Nigerian to fund, respond, prevent cases of SGBV in the land collect is a wake-up campaign for all.
Earlier, there was an awareness walk involving the Executive Secretary staff of the Commission and stakeholders to draw attention to the significance of the 16-day of activism.
The human rights Boss further unveiled activities lined up for the period of activism saying the Commission’s state offices across the federation including the Abuja Metropolitan Office have will be fully engaged in some activities including visits to the state legislatures, judiciary, and executives with the aim of ensuring the passage of laws to outlaw harmful practices against women and girls.
According to the statement by the spokesperson of the Commission, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, those in attendant include representatives from Ministries Departments and Agencies MDAs and civil society organisations who pledged their support to fight the war against SGBV.