*Violence against Women: MAMA Centre applauds rightsholders, demands policy shift to informal private sector*

The Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre) commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2023, themed “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

We on this Day, join local and international partners to emphasize the need for funding prevention strategies to proactively stop gender-based violence in Nigeria.

We recognise that violence against women remains a major barrier to achieving equality, inclusive development, and peace, as well as to upholding the human rights of women and girls in Nigeria.

While Gender-based Violence can affect any individual, irrespective of their sex, age and ethnicity, we must stress that certain groups of women and girls are particularly vulnerable to violence.

As a result, we demand targeted policy focus on judicious utilisation of locally-allocated resources in mitigating the major drivers of Gender-Based Violence, especially in the informal private secto such as markets and motor parks, where sexual assault, abuse and rape among women and adolescent girls are not uncommon but under-reported.

Despite the physical and psycho-emotional torture suffered from sexual violence in the market, motor parks and others by women and adolescent girls, its socio-economic impact and development implication remain unattended by the government at all levels.

We are worried by the absence of policy intervention or preventive engagement at informal sector, as unchecked sphere of the society where violence against women and girls is normalised, condoned and unsanctioned on daily basis.

Through various various engagement at all levels, we observed the socio-economic gaps coupled with inadequate demand for accountability on budgetary allocation to livelihood projects that largely impact women empowerment, financial capacity and self-reliance, which have the potential to decreasing their susceptibility to violence at all levels.

We in spirit of #16DaysOfActivism appreciate the dogedness and collective effort of MAMA Centre’s rightsholders, indigenous women of Udi Local Government of Enugu State under the aegis of Accountability for Empowerment project supported by VOICE Nigeria, for their formidable push for accountability on livelihood projects, while championing a strong cause against Gender-based Violence in their various communities.

We call for proactive policy effort with adequate funding opportunities to mitigate the growing but under-reported cases of sexual violence in the informal private sector, to support and fast-track massive awareness, education, rewards and appropriate sanctions.
We further call for increased psycho-emotional support, legal redress systems, and appropriate legislation as reactive measures to support and protect survivors at all levels.


*Chioma Kanu*
Executive Director, MAMA Centre

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