The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development says it is the responsibility of all citizens to work together in order to tackle the rampant occurrences of violence in the country.
The Minister, Sen. Aisha Alhassan said this at a news briefing to commemorate the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls in Abuja.
This year’s theme was “Together we can end gender based violence’’ and the sub theme was “Leave No One Behind’’.
According to her, both men and women are victims of violence in the society today, however the forms of violence being experienced by women and girls include acts that entail specific assault on their sexuality and such must be addressed by all.
Alhassan said the main objective of the campaign was to provide a platform to prevent violence against women as well as protect their rights.
“Violence against women and girls takes emotional and psychological forms often resulting in perpetual stereotypes and women’s subordination to men.
“Women and girls may suffer violent acts in the household and within the family which could be habituated by socio- cultural attitudes and traditions,’’ she said.
According to Alhassan, violence against women is human right issue that extremely hinders women and girls in contributing to national development.
She added that violence against women impacts and impedes progress in many areas which includes poverty eradication, combating HIV and AIDS, peace, as well as security.
The minister noted that it was crucial to improve the well-being of women and increase their freedom of action and influence.
She said 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls in Abuja, was executed by a coalition of partners led by the ministry to fulfill the goals of the campaign.
“The ministry is presently supporting the development of multi-sectoral coordination and response mechanism at the national, state and local levels to facilitate intervention that addresses gender based violence issues under the VAPP act.
“Advocacy and capacity building had been employed as strategies to address the high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in the country.
The UN Secretary-General, Mr Autonio Guterres who was represented by the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon said violence against women, harassment including harmful practices were major barriers to the fulfillment of human rights.
“It is time to advance our collective action to end violence against women in all regions, it takes all of us to work together in our countries and communities.
“It is time for us all to unite so that women and girls will live free from harassment, harmful practice and other forms of violence.’’
Guterres called on policy makers to invest more in women in areas of empowerment and capacity building.
The UN Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Comfort Lamptey further appreciated the effort of the Nigeria Government in tackling violence against women and girls.
Newsmen report that Nov. 25 to Dec.10, was set aside to mark “16 days activism to end violence Against Women’’ annually.