The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG has revealed that the devastating consequences of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are felt at social, economic and personal levels because of the grievous harm inflicted on victims.
She made these remarks while delivering a keynote address at the launch of Momentum Country and Global Leadership Project, held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Tuesday, 3rd August 2021.
The Honourable Minister added that “It is important to note that Gender-Based Violence is not just a human rights issue, but also a moral overbearing effect, and failure to invest in stopping it, leads to substantial social and economic losses which is estimated at 2 – 8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Tallen posited further that “There is also a growing evidence-base to demonstrate that preventing violence that can promote economic growth, improve human dignity, and foster a just and fair society.”
While highlighting the success recorded by her Ministry as the National Machinery for the advancement, welfare and general well-being of women, children and other vulnerable groups, she attributed this to be largely due to strategies adopted by the Ministry from addressing administrative and policy gaps, strengthening institutional capacity; promoting gender-equitable attitudes; providing quality services to survivors and ensuring social justice for victims of violence and their families.
Tallen applauded the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari at tackling GBV: “I am happy to inform you that we have launched the National Sex Offenders Register as part of activities to commemorate the 16 Days Activism against Gender-Based Violence in November, 2019 with the support of ROLAC. She said that this is currently domiciled in NAPTIP with the idea of naming and shaming perpetrators of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.
“We have commissioned the re-modeled Safe Space for Victims and Survivors of Gender-Based Violence. We also set up the National CSOs Emergency Response Team to assist in addressing the issues; including launching a Toll-free line 08031230651 for the public to report on the cases of rape, violence and abuse”, Tallen revealed.
Speaking earlier, the Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Kathleen FitzGibbon, stated that the United States remains committed to working with the Federal, State, and Local health officials to improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry if Women Affairs, Ambassador Anthonia Ekpa, PhD stated that it is important to recognize that GBV is a public health and social development concern with far-reaching consequences for survivors, perpetrators, families, broader society, and economies, primarily affecting women and girls, though she said, boys and men also experience it.
“Violence against women and girls are widespread as a result of gender inequality due to patriarchy, imbalance in socio- economic opportunities, cultural and religious factors, and inadequate enabling legal and policy frameworks, among other factors.”
The highlight of the event was dance-drama and drama presentation to depict the message of the event, by partners. There was also a touching testimonial from a GBV survivor.
Goodwill messages were received from the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi; and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The Momentum Country and Global Leadership Project is a 5-year project aimed at tackling discriminatory Gender and Social Norms which lead to GBV with 11 states identified as pilot.