By Ikenna Osuoha
The Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN) has urged security agencies to rise to the challenge of protecting women against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
Ms Assumpta Reginald, National Coordinator, (ASWHAN), said this on Friday in Abuja at a one-day sensitisation meeting with the Nigerian Police, media and other stakeholders in Abuja.
She said the association would continue to partner with media, Nigeria Police Force, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure that the rights of women were protected.
The National Coordinator, represented by Mrs Helen Akpan, the association’s secretary said that sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) escalated during the COVID-19.
She described the meeting as a roadmap to finding interventions to mitigate the challenge.
“During the COVID-19, GBV escalated. It is quite exciting to pave the way for gender intervention regarding GBV.
“Cases of GBV are underestimated, celebration of patriarchy in Nigeria have been tolerated for long,” she said.
Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) advocated a synergy of all stakeholders to tackle GBV.
Aliyu, represented by Mrs Emmanuella Akpa, said that it was time for all to come together and put an end to the menace of GBV.
Mr Abdulkadir Ibrahim, National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) said that Nigeria needed to do more to reduce sexual and gender-based violence.
Ibrahim said that it was time for Nigeria to justify the massive funds received from donors for the fight against GBV.
Ms Kim Kabiri, of the Nigerian Police, Lugbe Division, Abuja expressed the commitment of the force to confront the challenge.
“I work with the officer in charge of gender and I know what we have done. However, a lot of work still needs to be done especially at the grassroots,” she said.
Mrs Rosemary Igboyi, Assistant Director, Legal, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said that sexual and gender-based violence had become a major challenge in the country.
Igboyi said the commission was determined to address the challenge, saying that a lot of strategic centres had been created to for that purpose. (NAN)
By Ikenna Osuoha