By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja-Nigeria
The Chief Executive Officer, Afrihealth Optonet Association, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje
has said that thirty-one (31) million cases of Gender-Based Violence occurred during an average lockdown of 6 months all around the world.
The Afrihealth Optonet Association’s boss made the statement at a webinar symposium held on the 14 January, 2021.
Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje who served as the symposium moderator further stated that one in five women and girls under the age of 15 has suffered physical or sexual violence by spouse within the past 12 months.
“Base on the data collected from 87 countries; 30% of married / partnered women have experienced Intimate Partner Violence; 7% of women have experienced non-partner sexual violence; each year, about 12 million girls are married before they are 18 years old; and the COVID-19 pandemic escalated GBV/VAWG to a level that about 31 million cases of GBV occurred during an average lockdown of 6 months”.
He elucidated that, It was also recorded that several advocates, politicians and experts Gender-Based who serve as crusaders for a robust domestic violence and Gender-Based Violence laws often report threats against them and their families, and since they are not generally provided with personal security by the state, they become vulnerable to attacks.
He also identified Economic empowerment as a leading factor in the elimination of GBV / VAWG.
“But culture, religion and legal limitations tend to make the elimination of the monster more difficult to implement in certain environments.
Most laws on GBV / VAWG tend to favour women and girls, thus preventing several men and boys from reporting cases of GBV / VAWG being perpetrated against them which result in suffering in silence”.
Stating challenges, he pointed out that there is gross inadequacies of safe houses for victims of GBV, social support from community and religious entities for victims, affordable or free mental health programs and counseling for victims, perpetrators or families and dearth of programmes / opportunities for disseminating GBV /VAWG information to several population in different languages including braille and sign languages and poor / inadequate enforcement of existing laws and treaties against GBV in several countries.
Participants at the invent include: Gender-Based Violence (GBV) activists/champions/stakeholders from Bangladesh, Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South America, Sudan, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda, Untied Kingdom and Zimbabwe with over five hundred (500) activists/enthusiasts from all over the world.