Centre calls for proactive policy to mitigate under-reported cases of sexual violence

The Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre) commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023, themed “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

The Executive Director of the MAMA Centre, Ms. Chioma Kanu, bemoaned the fact that violence against women continues to be a significant obstacle to attaining equality, inclusive development, and peace, as well as to defending the human rights of women and girls in Nigeria, and she called for a shift in policy toward the informal sector.

She said: “While Gender-based Violence can affect any individual, irrespective of their sex, age and ethnicity, we must stress that certain groups of women and girls are particularly vulnerable to violence.

“As a result, we demand targeted policy focus on judicious utilisation of locally-allocated resources in mitigating the major drivers of Gender-Based Violence, especially in the informal private sector such as markets and motor parks, where sexual assault, abuse and rape among women and adolescent girls are not uncommon but under-reported.

She raised concerns over the absence of policy intervention or preventive engagement in the informal sector, as an unchecked sphere of the society where violence against women and girls is normalised, condoned and unsanctioned on a daily basis.

“We call for proactive policy effort with adequate funding opportunities to mitigate the growing but under-reported cases of sexual violence in the informal private sector, to support and fast-track massive awareness, education, rewards and appropriate sanctions.

“We further call for increased psycho-emotional support, legal redress systems, and appropriate legislation as reactive measures to support and protect survivors at all levels, she said.”

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