Stay-at-home order increased sexual violence, teenage pregnancies ― Minister

The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, on Thursday, said the stay-at-home order by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic increased sexual violence and teenage pregnancies.

She made this known in Abuja while delivering a speech at the end of a week-long programme on 2021 International Women’s Day and the unveiling of Abuja @ 45 Commemorative Stamp organized by the FCT Gender Development Department (GDD) of Social Development Secretariat (SDS).

According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic has further widened the gap of inequality that disadvantaged women have been facing, the lockdown brought the livelihood of many women to an abrupt end.

“The stay-at-home order, including school closure, increase the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, dropping out of schools, particularly for girls and broken homes assumed a serious concern to well-meaning Nigerians.

“The need therefore to push for the strengthening of our legislation to fight violence against women at all levels cannot be overemphasized,” She stressed.

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In his remarks, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, promised that the administration would continue to strive to empower women and girls in the territory.

He, therefore, called on institutions, companies and international donors to adopt special measures and quotas to advance equal participation of women in all human endeavours.

In her remarks, the National President, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ladi Bala, told the stakeholders that for women to truly have a future, the government at all levels must secure the education of girl-child.

Also in her remarks, the National President, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Dr (Mrs) Gloria Shoda, who condemned in the strong term, the rate of kidnapping of school children, especially in the north, called on the government to take the issue of insecurity very serious.


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