By Josephine Agbonkhese
United Nations, UN, and Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC, have said Federal Government need more laws to sufficiently reduce gender-based violence, GBV.
According to WARDC’s Founding Director, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, “we need more laws in the country, and more states to cooperate, to end gender-based violence. Women are killing their husbands and vice versa is affecting us as a nation and government must take this as a priority.”
United Nations Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, on her part, said GBV is a critical agenda for all, adding that Nigerian men must join the campaign to promote women empowerment and gender equality to address the plague.
Her words: “GBV is a problem that is very much present in Nigeria and the UN is committed to working and supporting the government of Nigeria, civil society organisations and the media to raise awareness about the problem.”
They made the calls in Lagos during an event to symbolically kick-out GBV in commemoration of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Violence, with over 500 men and women kicking a ball each at the same time.
On the rationale behind the 16 Days of Activism, Lamptey said: “We use these 16 days as a period to shed light on the GBV problem. We are very glad that civil societies have come together to use women footballers to shed light on the problem.
“It is a long time problem, but a problem that requires men and women to work together. As UN, we are also committed to ensuring that that the HeForShe campaign helps men come on board with women to end GBV.”
On the importance of the football match, Akiyode-Afolabi said: “Football is actually a game that brings people together. It is a game that brings unity, peace and we hope with this it will help to solve the issues of violence against women in Nigeria.
“Our message is that everyone must have it as a point of duty to end GBV. We must come together to ensure that there is no violence in the society.”