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The Case for the Nigerian Woman

The global average rate of Violence against Women/Gender Based Violence (VAW/GBV) is one in every three females. The typical Nigerian woman will get assaulted by her husband/boyfriend/uncle/father etc. at least once in her lifetime. This is the reality we live in. However, the numbers don’t have to be taken at face value. Take for example cases like the Ejigbo woman and her daughters (tortured and sodomized for allegedly stealing pepper) or more recently a young 28 year old, Maureen Adejo (tortured, cut with a machete and forced to swallow insecticide by her husband). Even the Lagos secondary school girls that were sexually assaulted in broad daylight by mobs of secondary school boys! Indeed these stories are all too real and increasingly becoming too familiar. Things must change!
The worrying news is that, we still have a long way to go in combating this issue. It is systematic, cutting through family, community and state. Somehow, we have imbibed a message that the female does not matter as much as the male. However, violence against women and girls is not inevitable. Prevention is vital and achievable! Resolving it requires the collective cooperation of the community and government of the country. We must make strides in prevention and speedy response to addressing abuse and discrimination. They must also play key roles in supporting and empowering women as well as helping to move towards non-violating cultural standards and practices. Governments that have had any measure of success in addressing inequality and GBV have done so through sheer political will and activism. No change is complete or even possible without government.

Studies have shown that any country that focuses on the empowerment of women has the potential to meet ALL Millennium Development Goals – none of which Nigeria has been able to meet in 15 years.

Every time a female is empowered, the ripple effects flow to her productivity and family, which in turn improves the economic health and social outcomes of the communities and country at large. A win-win for all. Therefore the fight to end Gender-based violence does indeed matter and we should ALL care. To this end, I beseech everyone, particularly the Nigerian government to take a stand against sexual and gender based violence.

Written By – Amabelle Nwakanma

Edited By – Chukwufumnanya Oranye and Enifoghale Agodo


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