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Violence against women impediment to realising potentials – Group

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By Ikenna Osuoha

Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer, Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), on Friday said violence against women could impede them from realising their potentials.

Ikokwu said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Abuja.

Nov. 15 annually is set aside by the UN as beginning of the 16 days activism on violence against women.

She called for collaboration of all to end all forms of violence against women especially girls, older women and those with disability.

Ikokwu said acts like physical abuse, sexual abuse, woman battery, even verbal abuse against women negated the advocacy for gender equality.

“Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.

“All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls,” she said.

She explained that according to UN women, 45 per cent of women reported that they or a woman they know, has experienced a form of violence.

“UN Women also say that seven in 10 women said they think that verbal or physical abuse by a partner has become more common.

“Six in 10 felt that sexual harassment in public spaces has worsened.”

The SOHI boss, who called for collective efforts to protect women and girls, urged states to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.

Ikokwu also called for prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of violence against women and girls to create safe spaces for women and girls.

She expressed dismay over the slow pace of justice in cases that bordered on Violence Against Women as reported by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. (NAN)

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