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A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, has said all hands must be on deck to end gender-based violence, particularly against women and young girls.
The organisation noted that violence was a major impediment to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, stated this at a capacity building on tackling and reducing sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in Ondo State, for female traditional rulers (Iyalodes) and female market women (Iyalojas). The programme was held in Akure, the state capital.
Akiyode-Afolabi disclosed that the project came with a support from the Ford Foundation.
She said, “Such (sexual and gender-based)  violence harms women, their families and communities socially, politically and economically.
“It is now widely accepted that strategies to end violence against women and girls  must include work with men and boys in order to identify promising approaches to ending VAWG as part of the need for a multi-sectoral responses to the ending of violence against women and girls.”

The executive director explained that  domestic violence was common to all communities in Nigeria, stressing that it was mostly associated with a woman’s action or failure to act.

According to her, the participants were selected due to their influential power to create awareness on laws against violence on women and girls in the society.
“Women also often suffer violence due to not meeting up with some socially accepted standard of behaviour. For this reason, have we called on the female traditional leaders (Iyalode) and leaders of market women associations (Iyaloja) in Ondo State to discuss the burning issue of sexual and gender-based violence and how the association and the council can address this vice in our communities.
“We are to build new ways and initiatives that deal with and confront cultural patterns of violence, dominance and power, while also empowering women and girls,” she stated.
In her remarks , the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Adebunmi Osadahun, commended the organisation for its efforts to end violence against women and girls in Nigerian society.

Osadahun charged the female folks to have unity of purpose in defeating all forms of violence against women and girls, urging the parents to stop showing preferential treatment for male children over female ones.

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