By Hassan Zaggi
The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, has called more awareness on the dangers and consequences of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in order to curb the menace.
She made the call at a session sponsored by the European Union (EU) at the 37th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), in Abuja.
Mrs Osinbajo who is also the Founder of the Women’s Helping Hands Initiative, reiterated that the memories of GBV last for a life time.
According to her, the survival of victims of gender-based violence depends largely on the quality of care they receive, because, such memories, she stressed, last a lifetime.
“The more we make people aware, the more the society knows that opportunity must be absent to perpetuate such acts of violence.
“So he or she may think of doing it all day long (because there is very little you can do about what goes on in the mind of a person), but as a people, we can put a barrier and ensure that opportunity is absent,” she noted.
Speaking, the Country Representative of the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), Ms Elisabeth Mueller, regretted that an estimated 80 million women in Nigeria are exposed to GBV.
Represented by the Deputy Country Representative, Erika Goldson, Ms Mueller noted that: “The year 2020 was the year Nigeria experienced two pandemics – COVID-19 and the pandemic of GBV.
“It is estimated that 80 million women are exposed to gender-based violence in Nigeria.
“Meeting the needs of survivors of gender-based violence enables us to fulfill the SDG principle of leaving no one behind.
“The UNFIPA has the mandate to rally medical professionals to end violence against women and girls, and support the abandonment of harmful practices, while amplifying positive social norms to create movements.”
On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, lamented that gender based violence was an epidemic within the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to her: “Many other countries have recorded a spike in gender-based violence and an unprecedented surge in rape cases even of minor and under persons.
“The situation became so depressing that will now refer to it as a pandemic within epidemic. I want to appeal to healthcare professionals to support us in the crusade to expose perpetrators of these evil acts.
“This administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has declared zero tolerance for that gender-based violence with support from the 36 States Governors.”