Nasrulahi-L- Fatih Society (NASFAT) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF is set to commence a campaign to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls in Nigeria. The project is an EU-UN spotlight initiative on ending violence against women and girls’ campaign in collaboration with UNICEF.
The partnership aims to provide a larger platform and provide broader opportunities to enhance commitment to stamping out various forms of violence and abuses against women and girls in the society.
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is an abuse of rights that poses consequences on the health and wellbeing of the survivors or lead to the death of the victims.
The UN-NASFAT partnership would be for three months, from April to June 2021 and the campaign would be taken to communities across Nigeria in five States and the Federal Capital Territory FCT, namely, Lagos in the Southwest, Cross River in the South-South, Ebonyi in the South East, Adamawa in the North East, Sokoto in the Northwest and Abuja in the North Central. The Programme focuses on educating stakeholders, paying advocacy visits to religious and community leaders, sensitization programmes for Men, Women and Youth leaders on ending violence against women and girls to curb gender-based violence. The Sensitisation exercise would be taken to selected schools or Madrasahs in the focus-states to educate the boys and girls on how to identify actions that constitute violence, protect themselves and report.
Boys will also be sensitised on the need for them to be the protectors and not perpetrators of violence against women and girls.
The World Health Organization
WHO (2014) and World Bank (2018) reported that 35% of females globally have experienced one form of violence or the other in Nigeria, harmful practices against women are underlined by socio-cultural beliefs and practices.
The Violence Against Children, VAC survey (NPCPC 2014) revealed that violence against the girl-child is widespread in the country. One amongst five girls have experienced physical violence and 25% have experienced sexual violence.
More than Seventy per cent (70.5%) of girls have reported at least one incident of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Further, data revealed that Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa – currently, 43% of girls are married before age 18, and 17% are married before they turn 15. Unfortunately, despite the great percentage of gender-based violence in all its forms and women rights violations; ignorance and lack of awareness are the main problems, and in many cases, victims are not always willing to speak out, stand up for their rights nor the society stand up for them or admit with their rights even if the law does.
The EU supports 5 Recipient UN Organizations – UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF & UNESCO – to implement the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria which is aimed at ending all forms of violence against women and girls*
According to the NASFAT/UNICEF project lead, Alhaja Ganiyat Babalola, NASFAT’s collaboration with UNICEF dated back to 21st July 2017, with a signed partnership agreement on Ending Violence against Children Campaign, a programme that was diligently carried out in phases with proven records of remarkable success.
The spotlight initiative on ending violence against women and girls campaign is in line with then SDG Target 5.2 to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Also, the SDG Target 5.3 to eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early or forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
The President of NASFAT, Mr. Niyi Yusuf, added that all the efforts at ensuring the welfare of the citizen are in line with the focus and policy thrust of NASFAT, which is tagged HELD (Health, Education, Livelihood Dawah). He noted that the society was fully committed to the wellbeing of its members and the public. According to Yusuf, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said “if any one of you sees anything bad, he should correct or change it with his hands. If he cannot do that, he should use his tongue.”