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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25th): Toyin Saraki Calls for Multi-Sector Involvement in Protecting Women

Friday, November 25th, 2011

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Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked yearly on November 25, Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation and Trustee of the Global Foundation for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (GFEDV), Mrs Toyin Saraki has said that the social and economic costs of violence against women are too enormous for any government to ignore. In a statement signed by her spokesman Mr. Yomi Owope, Saraki said that violence against women occurs across Africa, affecting millions of women in society, regardless of status, and that the socio-economic and psychological costs are unquantifiable.

“Many women are particularly at risk of abuse at home, school or work, especially in a society where there is a marked imbalance between men and women, and places where there are little or nopenalties against such behaviour.”

Mrs Saraki, who recently signed a Joint Accord against Domestic Violence in New York with other international campaigners for same during the UN General Assembly last September, also pointed to the psychosocial effects of domestic violence on the family unit especially on children as a major reason for strengthening laws which protect women against all forms of violence in Nigeria.

“We are well aware of the impact of domestic violence on children who grow up in such environments. They’re affected mentally, physically and often end up being violent themselves. It has also been proven that children who witness violence at home do not do well in school. This is indeed a global problem which is being addressed in some measure, but which needs the support and input of government, civil society and all women, regardless of race or class. People with influence in society and the private sector are not left out. Violence against our nation’s mothers and girls must stop and we all have a role to play. Furthermore, women should not be ashamed to talk about domestic violence especially if it is happening to them or someone they know,” Saraki said.

 

Editor’s Notes:

About The Wellbeing Foundation

The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is dedicated to the establishment and entrenchment of best practice in MNCH, as well as the improvement of the health systems in Nigeria and across Africa. In Nigeria the Wellbeing Foundation was responsible for lobbying for the new Nigerian Midwifery Service Scheme and the implementation of personal health records across Nigeria. The Foundation’s major commitment is the implementation of personal health records across Africa which the Foundation believes could have the single biggest impact on reducing child and maternal mortality and will move Africa towards attaining Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 & 6.

 

About The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

In 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime – with the abuser usually someone known to her.

Women’s activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. The date commemorates the brutal assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, in 1960 on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

Governments, international organizations and NGOs are invited to organize activities on the day to raise public awareness of the problem. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women also launches the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, which runs through to 10th December, Human Rights Day.

About GFEDV

Founded by Former UK Attorney General Baroness Scotland, The Global Foundation for the Elimination of Domestic Violence is a non-profit organisation with the aim to eliminate domestic violence on a global scale working with other partners to become a leading resource in sharing knowledge to eliminate domestic violence.

Signed:

Yomi Owope