The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun, has emphasized that interpersonal violence is one of the leading causes of death for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. He said this while speaking on ‘Curbing gender violence – Role of the Nigeria Police’ at a programme organised by the West African Women Association (WAWA) in Lagos to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day.
Making reference to the report of the Secretary General entitled, ‘In-depth study on all forms of violence against women’, Soremekun noted that ‘half of all women who die a violent death do so at the hands of somebody they were in an intimate relationship with.’
In her welcome address, the focal person of WAWA, Chief (Mrs) Beatrice Ubeku, called on stakeholders on gender issues to join hands and make Nigeria free of violence against women and girls. She pointed out that ‘women and girls who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished.’
Contributing, the Divisional Police Officer, Onikan Division, Joseph Aloefuna, drew attention to the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that women between the ages of 15 to 45 were more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. He also stressed the issues of rape and other forms of violence.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Odumakin, charged all Nigerians to stand up against gender based violence. Gender based violence, she said, ‘is a hindrance to economic stability and growth through women’s lost productivity.’