By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said 31 per cent of women and girls in Nigeria have undergone one form of physical violence or another.
The UNFPA said the violence has led to hospitalisation, death, and lifelong emotional and psychological distress for victims.
The UNFPA representative, Dr Zubaida Abubakar, stated this when the UN agency donated some office hardware and assets to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to support the fight on ending violence against women and girls.
The donation was done in partnership with the Neem foundation.
Abubakar said UNFPA’s third transformative result – ending gender-based violence and harmful practices align with the mission and vision of NAPTIP.
She said “In this light, UNFPA works to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through its work with policymakers, justice systems, health systems, and humanitarian partners.
“UNFPA also focuses on eliminating harmful practices, including Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage, and works with various partners to advance gender equality.
“Statistics show that 31 per cent of women and girls in Nigeria have undergone one form of physical violence or another. Many of which have led to dire consequences, including hospitalisation and even death. What we don’t see is lifelong emotional, and psychological distress.
“We know that when women are at the mercy of perpetrators, they often are left with limited choices, and that is where we are required to offer quick intervention on the part of the law to protect them.
“For this reason, UNFPA, through its EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria is collaborating with NAPTIP to end all forms of violence, the tragic realities women face every day.
“As a technical lead in GBV prevention and response, UNFPA Spotlight Initiative continues to fulfil its mandate towards ensuring that zero women and girls are subjected to any kind of violence.
“This partnership is designed to support government processes and strengthen institutions to mainstream programmes related to the violence against women and girls.
“UNFPA, through the Spotlight Initiative, has worked closely with government partners to identify areas that require support and as a result, they have identified the rapid response unit as a vital component of GBV response.
“Having seen the commitment and contribution of NAPTIP, especially in life-saving rescues, UNFPA has opted to support this component to ensure the lives of many more women and girls are saved.
“We are therefore here to show our continued support for the work of NAPTIP by filling in some gaps, especially in modern technology, to aid the decent work they do.”
Abubakar added that UNFPA will continue to partner with NAPTIP towards empowering women and girls to prevent and respond to GBV.
In her remarks, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, commended UNFPA for its support.
She noted that there is an increase in public trust in the agency.