By Ignatius Ushie
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed on Monday, February 22, 2021, paid a visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs, where she called for collaborative efforts to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Mohammed, who said that Gender-Based Violence will not only be stopped by an enacted law, but by what is acceptable in the home, community and society, where it begins, pointed out that it is the duty of everybody to create a society where it is not acceptable.
“In the end, there is leadership in that home that says this is not acceptable and we won’t do it. In the family, in the street we will not tolerate a neighbour that is beating his wife or maybe in worse cases she’s maimed and dies.
“If we are fighting for women’s rights, everyone needs to fight for them because it is about human rights and their environment and the success of the country”, she said.
The former Minister of Environment praised the effort of the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, noting that the Ministry under her leadership is moving, not just in Abuja, but also at the state, local and even ward level, which is important to rebuild the foundation.
Amina, noting that Nigeria is still challenged, stated that so much has been done, and the country has moved forward from where she was 10 years ago, adding that although there are still concerns around security and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), there is the need to celebrate what is successful about Nigeria and not only playing the blame game.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General who emphasized that it should not be acceptable that the social cohesion and fabric of Nigeria is being torn, pleaded with those that come from a Nigeria where they gained everything from the unity and diversity of the country, to find a way to instil moral and cultural value as well as everything necessary to make Nigeria great again.
She called on Nigerians to maximally utilize the United Nations, which she said, is here for them.
According to her, “The United Nations is here for us. It is reforming and becoming stronger and we will like to help countries reach the aspirations they have. The team is here to serve you.
“You need to call on us, what you will like to convene, whether it is internationally, nationally, different groups of people, to pull women and young people into leadership, use the United Nations, it is yours”, she said.
Earlier, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, noted that Gender-Based Violence is a pandemic within a pandemic, adding that since the advent of Covid-19, the Civil Society Organisations and the Ministry has been working so hard to ensure that those that have been abused within the lockdown and in their various homes have been given a voice through the Ministry.
Tallen called for support at all angles in the area of women empowerment, women in political space and addressing the issues of Gender-Based Violence and all sorts of violence against women.
The Minister pointed out that remarkable progress has been made in addressing Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria, since the Deputy Secretary-General’s last visit.
“The main issue is to intensify advocacy and our CSOs are working really hard to support us at all levels. The issue of GBV has taken the front burner in national discourse and there is remarkable synergy in data validation between the federal, state and local levels” she added.
While stating that Nigerian women are making giant strides within and outside the country, Dame Tallen hailed the recent naming of rail facilities in Nigeria after Amina Mohammed, adding that it is a great achievement for Nigerian women as a whole, and also shows that she is loved.
In her welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Anthonia Ekpa, PhD opined that Nigeria is fortunate as a country to have Amina Mohammed, as she is one of the greatest women in the World.
She thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for recognizing the gift that Nigeria has in her—her talent, passion, love for people, especially for women, and thanked her for visiting the Ministry.
The Minister later presented a hand-made sovenier locally made by a Nigerian woman adding that Nigerian women are doing well in their choosen careers, and therefore should be encouraged. Goodwill messages were received from media, donor partners among who are Moji Makinjuola, Jake Ekpelle, CEO The Albino Foundation among others.