By Asmau Ahmad
In commemorating the 2019 International Women’s Day (IWD), the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria, has warned against gender-related killings in Africa.
Outreach and Communications Officer, UNODC Nigeria, Mr Sylvester Atere, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
According to Mr Atere, the UNODC is giving the warning following reports of women and girls falling victims of homicide by intimate partners and family members.
He said that the UNODC Nigeria office was using this year’s celebration to draw attention to the disproportionally high risk of women and girls in Africa to fall victim to gender-related homicide.
He said that a recent UNODC report on gender-related killing of women and girls found that globally a staggering 87,000 women were intentionally killed in 2017.
Atere added in the report, it was more worrisome that 60 per cent of these killings were perpetrated by intimate partners or family members including parents, children or any other member of their family.
He said UNODC’s Executive Director, Yori Fedotov, at the launch of the report in late 2018, said that women continue to pay the highest prices of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes.
“While the vast majority of homicide victims are men, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes.
“They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family. This is particularly true for African women and girls who are not only more likely to become victims of homicide than their peers in other regions of the world.
“Out of the total of 50,000 women killed in 2017 by their current or former partners or by any family member, 19,000 were Africans.
“This makes Africa the region where women run the greatest risk of being killed by people they normally should be able to trust the most, they are vulnerable to sorcery and witchcraft related killings.
“The lack of reliable data on homicides in Africa is a strong obstacle to fully understand the trends and scope of gender-related killings as well as the links with other forms of violence,’’ he said.
Quoting the UNODC further, Atere said implementing the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) constitutes a step for States to better collect and analyze data on gender-related killings.
He said that the UNODC also urges that states to ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women as well as its protocols and other international treaties protecting women’s rights.