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‘30% Nigerian women aged 15-49 regularly experience gender-based violence’

At least three in 10 Nigerian women aged 15 to 49 experience one form of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) or another, the Executive Director, Women…

At least three in 10 Nigerian women aged 15 to 49 experience one form of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) or another, the Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi has said.

She said this on Thursday in Abuja at a training for CSOs and women’s rights advocates on monitoring and assessment of Nigeria’s progress towards institutional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) benchmarks for SGBV; and the sexual, reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as part of the joint UN-EU Spotlight Initiative Project (SIP).

Represented by WARDC Project officer, Evelyn Ugbe, Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi lamented that the SGBV, Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) were prevalent in Nigeria but that lack of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) by women was a major challenge in the country.

“Research has shown that 30 percent of women between the ages of 15-49 years experienced one form of sexual gender-based violence. In order to make the monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs successful, a much sharper focus is needed on enhancing the roles and capacities of CSOs particularly women’s rights organizations and movements by building their capacity to fulfil their critical responsibilities.

“The spotlight initiative is a global multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030,” she said.

She said that the interventions focus on six mutually reinforcing pillars, which WARDC is implementing in Lagos State and FCT focusing on promoting an empowered civil society and autonomous women’s movement.

She said, “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a global Agenda for Sustainable Development that was adopted by world leaders in 2015. Six years later, attention has shifted towards the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of this global agenda. In order for the SDGs to be successful, every level of governance will be counted on to benchmark to assess progress on each goal.

“The activity aims to train women’s rights advocates and CSOs to enhance their skills to monitor and assess Nigeria’s progress towards Institutional SDGs Benchmarks for SGBV, HP and SRHR.

“Our goal is to strengthen CSOs in tackling all forms of discrimination, build capacity to demand accountability on VAWG/SGBV/HP/SRHR and advocate for policy reforms and actions that would eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls.”

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