The UN and the European Union (EU) have reiterated their support to Nigeria’s efforts to eradicating Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
The representatives of the UN and EU reaffirmed the commitment at the inauguration of a Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Abuja.
Ulla Mueller, the representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who noted that Nigeria has witnessed a spike in sexual violence with the COVID-19 pandemic, however, commended Nigeria for rising to the challenge and called on all for support.
“We cannot say it often enough; we all have a responsibility to end gender based violence.
“It is a devastating occurrence that happens every day in Nigeria and it is also a reality that women and girls live in fear every day.
`We stand by you in these crises and we also stand side by side working with you in ending gender-based violence in Nigeria.
“We commend the Nigerian government for taking this initiative, commitment and dedication of putting action behind the words of wanting to eradicate gender-based violence”, Mueller said.
Also, Alexandre Gomes, the First Counsellor and Deputy Head of Delegation of the EU to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States also in a goodwill message, commended Nigeria for the initiative.
Gomes noted that the country witnessed nearly 300 per-cent increase in cases of sexual and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 lockdown and urged Nigeria not to treat the issues as business as usual.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, tasked members of the committee to come up with solutions that would checkmate the rising wave of the menace in the country.
He said the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is a milestone in the fight against what he described as `pandemic within a pandemic.
Malami charged the committee to give their best to save the country, especially the women and children from this menace.
“To achieve this, the members must carry out a holistic examination of all issues ranging from legal, socio-cultural to economic perspective.
“You are also expected to develop and implement effective approaches for prevention and effective responses whenever the crime occurs’’.
He added that the enormity of the problem calls for a targeted approach and concerted effort of all relevant stakeholders.
“You all have been carefully selected to work assiduously together and come up with lasting solutions to the problem of SGBV in Nigeria.
“You will be collaborating with the United Nations and Civil Society Organisations to tap from their wealth of experience on the issue and ensure best practices in the attainment of this objective’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria Reports that the committee has representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Women Affairs, the Police, Civil Society Organisations, among others.