The United Nations Women’s Office has described the persistent rape of women and girls and other gender-based violence in Nigeria as a “shadow pandemic” that must be tackled from all angles.
This is coming on the heels of a worrisome report by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu that 717 rape cases were recorded in Nigeria between January and May this year.
The UN Women’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, who spoke to some group of women recently at Ushafa, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, disclosed that the global body was disturbed that women and girls have become endangered species in the country.
Lamptey, who was at Ushafa to distribute palliatives to vulnerable and women living with HIV/AIDs, called on governments at all levels and stakeholders to fight against rape and other gender-based violence against women.
According to her, the women folk, especially those in the informal sector were the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and therefore should not be subjected to other form of abuses.
She said: “The rape, killings and domestic abuses against women and girls across the country, is a shadow pandemic we are facing in this country, as the UN Women have called it.”
Also speaking, the Acting Director, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Dili Onyedinma, said the plight of women in Ushafa and other parts of FCT was being given attention, especially at this period of pandemic.
Onyedinma noted that her secretariat has zero tolerance for gender based violence against women and girls, and having been collaborating with other agencies to tackle the issue of rape in the territory.