President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday in Abuja urged local and international agencies involved in protection of women against violence to intensify efforts in sensitizing men and boys on the effects and consequences of using force, particularly on women and girls.
Speaking at a United Nations-European Union Town Hall Dialogue on Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria, President Buhari said focus should be on likely perpetrators, men and boys, with a view to creating the right value in relationships based on respect and trust.
“While we push for a concerted effort that establishes frameworks dealing with these issues, we also must integrate educating men and boys on how to embrace gender awareness and recognize the role of women in economic and community development.
“A lot still needs to be done, and I call on all the good people of Nigeria, especially the men and boys, to help us in achieving our goal of creating a society that is free from domestic violence, rape and all other forms of violence against women and children.’’
The President said consequences of gender violence go beyond the victims and their families, with long term effects on community and country at large.
“Preventing violence against women can save lives and prevent human suffering,’’ he said, adding: “I stand in solidarity with all the women and men here in Nigeria and around the world that say “No” to violence against women and children.’’
President Buhari noted that some progress had been made in design and implementation of frameworks for preventing violence, which include the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Management Committee and National Action Plan on the eradication of gender-based violence.
“Many states have passed laws promoting access to justice for women and children, and services are being improved to support survivors of violence.
“I particularly commend the efforts of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Justice, National and State Assemblies, Nigerian Governors Forum, Nigerian Police Force, our donors and development partners for their commitment and efforts in making Nigeria a safer place for women and children. I can see greater integration and coordination across these sectors.’’
In her remarks, the UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed said, “Let’s be clear, sexual violence like any form of violence is simply violence.
“There is no excuse. There is no justification and there must be zero tolerance. All of us must stand up and speak out.’’
UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said the Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality, empower and strengthen one half of the population, which are women and girls.
“I am pleased that the Government of Nigeria is holding this town hall meeting today to directly support this effort,’’ he added.
Other participants at the town hall are: Deputy Senate President, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Minister Justice and Attorney General, Minister of Women Affairs, Minister of State, Budget & Planning, Inspector General of Police, EU Ambassador, Chairperson of FIDA and The Country Director of Plan International.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 25, 2020