The head of the United Nations in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, joined forces with colleagues and stakeholders to champion women’s rights in Abuja. Leading a spirited road walk from the United Nations Headquarters, the group marched through the streets, raising their voices against the escalating cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) and UN Women orchestrated the event as a component of the broader initiative commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria. With placards conveying the resounding message of “No Tolerance to Rape,” “Sexual Violence,” “Child Sexual Abuse,” and “Sex Trafficking,” the marchers aimed to draw attention to the urgent need for collective action.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual global campaign launched on November 25, seeks to intensify efforts against all forms of violence, discrimination, and human rights abuses. This includes a sharp focus on combating sexual violence against women and girls, culminating on December 10, observed as Human Rights Day.
During the march, participants not only vocalised their demands for an end to SGBV but also engaged in outreach efforts by distributing informative flyers. A consultant specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology and founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, said the campaign “aims at creating awareness about the prevalence of rape and sexual violence in our communities and also to put an end to this menace.”
“It is to create awareness about sexual and gender-based violence in communities, to change the negative pre-existing mindset towards rape and sexual violence, and to give support to survivors of rape and sexual violence,” she added.