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GBV: Group decries abuse of women, girls in communities

“These champions were given the right capacities to understand the issue of gender injustices,” she said, adding that a lot of people had started speaking up and taking actions to address the issue.

By Bridget Ikyado/Angela Atabo

A non-governmental organisation, Christian Aid Nigeria, has expressed worry that some communities condone gender-based violence and abuse of women and girls.

The Gender Officer of the group, Mrs Mercy Onyema, expressed the worry on Friday in Abuja while speaking to newsmen in commemoration of 16 Days Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

She said that there was the need for everybody to speak up to curb the menace.

Onyema said that Christian Aid had created a programme – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Champions – in Makarfi and Kubau local government areas of Kaduna State, to address the issue.

“These champions were given the right capacities to understand the issue of gender injustices,” she said, adding that a lot of people had started speaking up and taking actions to address the issue.

She disclosed that more than 30 people had been working to drive the advocacy and ensure inclusive participation.

Onyema said that the organisation’s other projects aimed at curbing GBV included networking with traditional leaders in North East, North West, South West, South East and at the national level to tackle gender-based violence.

She said that issues such as female genital mutilation, child marriage and widowhood practices, among others, were being tackled through the projects.

“We also have our youth advocates for gender injustices to make them understand the importance of speaking up,” she said.

The Country Director of the organisation, Mr Temitope Fashola called for enactment of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in states.

According to him, the law would help Nigerians to know their rights more.

The organisation’s Acting Head of Programs, Mr Victor Arokoyo, said that women suffered gender-based violence more.

Arokoyo called for collective efforts in eliminating GBV. (NAN)