The minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, on Tuesday, said the federal and state governments of Nigeria, have pledged their support to end all forms of violence against women and girls in the country.
Tallen disclosed this at a workshop organised by the federal ministry of women affairs, in partnership with the Foundation for Resilient Empowerment and Development (FRED), supported by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Implementation in Lagos.
The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors have zero tolerance for issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria, while adding that government was doing everything possible to ensure women and girls are protected.
Giving an instance of what government was doing, she said, “A lot is being done in Borno state. The state government is trying to resettle women and girls out of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, by constructing a massive house for them. We are encouraging all states to follow that footstep by having a safe home for survivors where they are well cared for and attended to.”
Tallen said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 set the country back many years as it eroded all its gains revealed in the unprecedented number of gender-based violence across communities and the states.
However, through the ministry’s concerted efforts and supports by development partners, Tallen said the country has witnessed remarkable progress in the collection, collation and availability of GBV data across the states through deployment of innovative data management and visualisation platforms.
Speaking on the workshop, the minister said the GBV data indicator harmonisation workshop was very critical because without data the country cannot win the war against GBV.
“With this workshop, we will be able to have data, fact that will support our efforts to end violence against women and girls in Nigeria,” she added.
On what the ministry has done in ensuring justice for victims, the minister said, “The ministry has reached out to the police and the judicial system to ensure that no case is swept under the carpet. I encourage survivors to speak out. I also urge all stakeholders to be involve in advocacy, and to ensure that the survivors are supported.”
On issues of insecurity in Nigeria, Tallen urged Nigerian women to say no to all those who are clamouring for violence and secession.
She said, “The past few days have been very tense with rumours of conflicts and calls for breakup of our great country by aggrieved persons and others whose avenues for looting have been closed.
“I must say that what binds us together as a country in our 60 years of existence as an independent state is greater than what people imagine and Nigerian women say no to all those who are clamouring as we seek them to resort to dialogue towards finding a lasting solution to the insecurity across states in Nigeria.”
In the same vein, the Lagos State commissioner for women affairs, Mrs Cecilia Dada, said few years ago, a lot of our women in Lagos State found it difficult to report when they were being abused.
Dada said the state was able to change the narrative with a lot of advocacy, sensitisation programme and stakeholders who are actively involved in the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls.