Home Healthcare NGO urges FG, stakeholders to take holistic approach to gender-based violence

NGO urges FG, stakeholders to take holistic approach to gender-based violence

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Christian Aid UK-Nigeria, has tasked government and stakeholders at all levels to address Gender-Based Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls by combating its emerging threats holistically.

The NGO’s Country Director, Mr Temitope Fashola made the appeal at a two-day capacity-building training programme in Abuja.

The event was organised by the group for its staff and partners to commemorate the 2023 16 Days of Activism to End GBV Against Women and Girls.

Fashola noted that violence against women and girls had increased astronomically across different settings such as workspace and online spaces.

The Senior Programmes Coordinator, Christian Aid UK-Nigeria, Mrs Uzor Uzoma, said the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violation which needed a more holistic approach is gender-based violence and harped on the need to have it addressed holistically by incorporating broader policies and programmes like the social protection system to strengthen women’s economic security and autonomy and reduce the risks of violence.

She said, “These policies in turn need robust resources to support better planning and implementation. The Rapid Gender Assessment Survey on the impact of COVID-19 on VAWG conducted by UN Women shows that 45 per cent of women reported that they or a woman they know had experienced VAWG in 13 countries.

“Furthermore, economic insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and limited social protection continue to increase women and girls’ vulnerability to violence, which negatively affect their physical and mental health, among others.”

She, however, said that GBV and violence against women and girls could be prevented through a transformative gender justice approach that has the NGO’s core strategy of ‘Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategy’.

The coordinator explained that the strategy envisions a society where systems of oppression that continue to discriminate against persons based on gender, socioeconomic status, religion, race, disability and others are identified and dismantled.

Meanwhile, the group’s Adolescent and Information Project Officer, Ms Amina Raji, urged stakeholders and the government to invest in education awareness, gender equality and social inclusion, legal support and safe spaces for GBV survivors.

She said stakeholders must unite to prevent violence against women and girls and to promote gender justice by challenging social and cultural norms and stereotypes that condoned and justified GBV.

The Chief Imam of Mile Diobu Port Harcourt in Rivers, Khalifa Suliaman, appealed to religious and traditional leaders to promote gender justice and ensure GBV was eliminated and no longer tolerated under any circumstance.

According to him, Islam does not support GBV or VAWG and makes room for women not to be relegated to the background in society.

He said, “Islam recognises the presence of women in all ramifications because the religion is for the whole world, not for a particular gender, race or tribe.

“Under no circumstance should violence against women and girls be encouraged or allowed in Islam; it is not in any place in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.”

(NAN)

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