By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
As the world commences the celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, extending through International Human Rights Day on December 10, the Center for Conflict Management and Media Development (CCMMD) issues a compelling call to action. The organization urges all stakeholders in Nigeria to unite in addressing gender-based violence affecting women and children.
A statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna by Mr Douglas Didam Administrative Assistant/Media Manager of the organization emphasizes the significance of collaboration among humanitarian NGOs, civil society organizations, government bodies, faith-based organizations, and traditional institutions.
This call aligns with the annual “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, aiming to raise awareness and implement strategies to combat gender-based violence.
The alarming increase in cases related to violence against women and girls is labelled as the most pervasive human rights violation globally. The UN’s theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism is “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls,” prompting a collective call to action for stakeholders to intensify efforts to eliminate violence in private, public, and conflict situations.
The organization expresses grave concern about the worldwide statistics that over 70% of women experience violence in their lifetime, with Nigerian women and girls facing an even more alarming reality.
Nigeria recorded 27,698 Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases between 2020 and 2023, according to data on the GBV National Dashboard.
To address this, the organization proposes a faith-based approach, advocating for multi-religious support groups, training religious leaders and other stakeholders on gender-based violence (GBV) issues, and creating centres offering help and legal assistance.
In the 2022 UN report on the day to end gender-based violence, citing a survey conducted by an international organization, it highlighted that more than 1 in 3 women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime, with 5 women or girls being killed by someone in their own family every hour. Less than 40% of victims seek help of any kind.
The organization encourages widespread involvement in the cause, from amplifying the voices of survivors and activists to supporting women’s organizations and strengthening feminist movements.
To combat gender-based violence, they recommend increased funding, championing women’s economic empowerment, providing vocational training, ensuring women’s involvement in decision-making, engaging men in the fight against violence, and promoting advocacy.
“We urge all faith-based organizations to harness the significance of the 16 Days of Activism by actively promoting peace. Let us embark on unwavering campaigns against gender-based violence. It is essential to acknowledge that no religion advocates or supports gender-based violence”