[EDITORIAL] Case Against Gender Based Violence
In Nigeria, Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls is a crime that requires urgent attention. In spite of the many voices speaking against
National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reports that there were only 32 rape convictions between 2019 and 2020. NAPTIP equally reports that 60 to 80 per cent of victims of Europe sex trade, sadly, are Nigerians. The agency further notes that 75 per cent of victims trafficked within the country are trafficked across states, and 23 per cent are trafficked within states. The statistics released by the agency also point out that of the 2,505 (21.2 per cent) rescued victims, Edo State has the largest number of trafficked victims in Nigeria. This is followed by Kano that has 1,114 rescued victims (9.4 per cent), Delta 855 (7.2 per cent), Akwa Ibom 839 (7.1 per cent), and Imo 509 (4.3 per cent).
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2019, reports that women and girls put together account for 72 per cent of all human trafficking victims spotted globally. It further states that girls represent more than three out of every four child trafficking victims, and that most of these women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
In Nigeria, we are compelled to note, issues of physical violence have reached disturbing levels. A Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 report disclosed that 14 per cent of women have experienced physical violence with Taraba State having the highest cases of violence against women at 68 per cent and Jigawa with lowest at four per cent. headtopics.com
Furthermore, 36 per cent of married women in Nigeria, according to media reports have experienced some form of spousal violence with some cases recording injury or death. UNICEF also disclose that ‘six out of every 10 children experience some form of violence – one in four girls and 10 per cent of boys have been victims of sexual violence’.
On matters of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a 2018 report by NDHS revealed that 20 per cent of Nigerian women aged between 15 and 49 have been circumcised with Imo having the highest number of cases, with 62 per cent of all cases, while Adamawa is lowest at 1 per cent.
It is also pertinent, in our view, that the rate of violence perpetrated against women in politics is also rife with the effect that a lot of women are avoiding politics. There are media reports of cases of violence perpetrated against female politicians and in extreme cases murder as the tragic case of Mrs. Abuh in Kogi State.
ADVERTISEMENTIN retrospect Nigeria, in 2015, passed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, which criminalises all types of violence against persons and at the same time offers maximum protection and efficient remedies for victims. However, according to reports of ICIR June 2020, only 14 states out of Nigeria’s 36 states have domesticated the VAPP Act while the 2021 reports gave 18 as the number of states that have done the needful. headtopics.com
We, therefore, urge the federal government to take steps towards stopping gender-based violence so as to protect women and girls. This it can do by persuading states still sitting on the fence to take appropriate actions in this regard.Read more: LEADERSHIP Newspaper »
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