United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Wednesday, admonished government at all levels in Nigeria to ensure justice for victims and survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
The global organisation revealed that about 18 million women in Nigeria have stories to tell regarding sexual and gender-based violence. Country Representative of UNFPA, Elisabeth Mueller, who spoke at the International Day of Nurses and Midwives celebration, yesterday, in Abuja, said women and girls experiencing sexual and gender based violence should not be stigmatised, but rather shown love and care.
Mueller, who called for arrest of perpetrators of gender-based violence, noted: “The moment we start taking legal action against them and ensuring that justice is done, we will continue to experience meaningful development in the narrative. We need to support women and girls by standing up for each other always. We need to give them assurance that they will get justice. When we hold each other’s hand, then we are on the way to ending GBV.
“We need to start putting ourselves in the position of those passing through the violence. Always remember to show love and care to girls and women. We should be able to pass the appropriate message across to people. We should also put a human face to our stories and stop shaming the survivors.”
The Executive Director of Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), Irene Patrick Ogbogu, lamented that people with disability are constantly neglected, and they suffer violence three times more than other people. Ogbogu called on security agencies to support the survivors when they report to appropriate authorities.
“Many times when girls and women go to report to security officers, they are usually faced with negative stereotype which is not supposed to be the norm. Some persons living with disability experience extreme form of violence when they have issues with their partners. When they report violence perpetrated against them, the women are usually judged by security officers.
“There is no access to justice, which is not encouraging at all.
“We want the government and other stakeholder’s to support in reducing the challenges that women with disabilities are facing on daily basis. We should not just think that persons with disability are source of concerns. The issue is that they have myriad of challenges in accessing services,” Ogbogu said.