Minister Talks Tough On Violence Against Women, Girls

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By IJEOMA UKAZU |

…Says Nigeria Must Mainstream Gender

Following the high rate of Violence Against Women And Girls, VAWG in Nigeria, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has said that government at all level is committed to ending all forms of abuse metted to women and the girl-child.

Disclosing this while declaring open the ongoing 5-days Gender-Based Violence Data Indicator Harmonization Workshop for the National Strategic Knowledge Management Technical Working Group in Lagos, Tallen said Nigeria must mainstream gender.

She said, “I want to appeal to all present that as producers and users of statistics, whether we are compiling labour market indicators, health statistics, annual health report, annual education report, population bulletins, poverty survey, preparing statistical report, SDG report, human development, we must mainstream gender, so that we are able to paint the clear picture.”

The event which was organised by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, in partnership with the Foundation for Resilient Empowerment and Development, FRED supported by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, under United Nations Development Programme, UNDP Tallen stressed the need to focus on numbers to highlight the real figures that would be easily understood by all for strategic planning.

 

The Minister added that President Muhammadu Buhari and all state government are doing all it can to ensuring that women and girls are protected.

According to her, “the Borno state government is trying to resettle women and girls out of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps, by constructing a massive house for them. We are encouraging all states to follow that footstep by having a safe home for survivors where they are well cared for and attended to.”

Tallen added that, data on issues of Gender Based Violence, GBV is important, hence this workshop -data indicator harmonisation workshop is essential as without data, winning the battle on GBV would be daunting task.

The Women Affairs Minister stated that, “this 5-five day workshop will enable us have data, fact that will support our efforts to end violence against women and girls in Nigeria.”

Speaking further she said, in ensuring justice for victims, the ministry has reached out to the police and the judicial system to ensure that no case is swept under the carpet, stating that, she encourage survivors to speak out, urging all stakeholders to be involve in advocacy, and ensuring that the survivors are supported.

Lending her voice, the Lagos State commissioner for women affairs, Mrs Cecilia Dada said, ” years back, so many women in Lagos State found it difficult to report when they were being abused. The state was able to change the narrative with a lot of advocacy, sensitisation programme and stakeholders who are actively involved in the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls.”

Commending the Minister for her contribution towards gender issues, the Gender and Human Right UNDP/Spotlight Project Manager, Onyinye Ndubisi said the indicator workshop would produce a national indicator for Nigerian women and girls.

“Data is very important. Data is a source of direction. It gives us more insight and numbers, and when you work into the national assembly you are presenting evidenced-based figures. The Indicator would make every Nigerian girl proud. We will continue to support women and issues related to women.”

Also speaking the Monitoring and Evaluation Focal person, UN System, Mr. Yinka Akibu stated “the indicator harmonisation workshop would ensure that Nigeria reports accurate data for Gender-based Violence, GBV, adding that, already the process to ensure a reliable single data for national use was in progress.”

In her view, the Programme Manager, Orphan and Vulnerable Children, OVC USAID, Nigeria, Tessie Kuhe stated, ” the indicators helps to tell a story as well as give an account of what a country or group does. Indicators help to know whether or not we are getting to where we are supposed to go, it will tell you if you are making progress and help s to know here you need to contribute.”

Earlier in her remark, Country Director, FRED, Rosemary Echewe, said indicator will help the country to report facts and concrete data. What is not documented is not done. This workshop presents a golden opportunity for us to support the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to define the indicators under the Gender-based Violence programme as well as coordinate the systematic. At the end of the workshop, we will have concrete data that will be available, consistent verifiable and valid.”

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