As a part of the activities to commemorate this year’s #16daysofActivism, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) took the campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) to the Market Women in Abuja, yesterday.
The Market Sensitisation which took place at Kado Fish Market, Abuja was aimed at creating more awareness amongst the local women as well as to inform the public on how they can invest to prevent violence against women and girls, according to AAN Deputy Country Director, Suwaiba Mohammad Dankabo
“This event serves as a way to further educate, inform, and engage the public on the contribution they can make to ensure that violence against women and girls is reduced in their various communities”, she remarked.
Dankwabo stated that there is need for collective efforts to invest in ending violence against women and girls, including putting resources in place for effective campaigns against gender-based violence.
She added that It’s not just about women; men are also involved. Traditional leaders, policymakers, and everyone need to be aware and understand what violence is,” Dankabo said.
Speaking on the choice of the market sensitization, Dankabo stressed that “This event is taking place in the market because many people here don’t have time to watch television, listen to the radio, or attend meetings or workshops. They spend much of their time here and live amongst men.
“Some of the harassment we are addressing happens in the market. We want to ensure that sensitization reaches everyone, which is why we have come to the market to engage with the women and men selling here,” she added
Ibrahim Muhammad, Chairman of the Fish Market Trader Association who spoke to Press men at the event said, Nigerian Constitution has made provisions for women to thrive and be successful in any field of endeavors they chosen hence they have equal rights as men.
“In our constitution, we have a special place for women to ensure their inclusion in every market position. That’s why we have women leaders in the market, and they have their own executives managing their affairs,” Muhammad said.
In Nigeria, according to reports on GBV, almost one in three (31%) women aged 15- 49 have experienced physical violence, one in four girls, including very young ones, experience sexual violence and 86% of people presenting for medical attention due to sexual assault in health care facilities are women and girls.
Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa (23 million girls and women married as children) and carries the third largest burden of child brides globally (3.3M). However 0.9% of perpetrators of sexual assault are brought to trial, with almost none of them convicted.
Amongst other activities during the event was dramatization of how Gender-Based Violence could be perpetrated against women and girls and how the public can invest time and resources to ensure they stand against this act.