ActionAid asks governments to enforce laws against gender violence

In commemoration of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a non-governmental organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, has called on both Federal and state governments to enforce existing laws and guidelines aimed at preventing all forms of gender-based violence and harassment against women at work and other places.

Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

According to her, Nigeria needs to recognise that womenfolk are still over-represented in low paid and insecure employment and also with little or no access to social protection and rights at workplaces and beyond in all parts of the country.

This disturbing situation, she noted, leaves many women and girls vulnerable to multiple forms of violence in the country.

While stating that in addition to several occupational health and safety risks, female workers are more targeted for violence and harassment at work just because of a combination of factors that include conditions of work, type and nature of work, and low bargaining power.

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She said government at both levels would need to strengthen legal protections against gender-based violence at workplaces either in formal or informal sectors.

Ene said the government would do this by adopting and enforcing national laws and regulations and also enacting new laws if required, all to ensure universal access not only to gender-responsive and effective complaint systems but also to safe and confidential reporting, as well as transparent justice mechanisms for sufferers of gender-based violence.

She also implored all formal and informal employers of labour to always prioritise the protection and promotion of the rights of their workers, especially females and government to adequately funds services that meet the needs of women and girls, especially health and education, sanitation and agriculture.

She said enough of subjecting women to harassment and sexual exploitation at workplaces and any other place, saying women and girls also deserve to feel safe and secure wherever they are in the country.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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