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A Comparative Review of Violence Affecting Women and Girls in Selected States

A Comparative Review of Violence Affecting Women and Girls in Selected States

Introduction According to a 2006 report by the UN Secretary General, violence against women and girls is pervasive across all cultures, regions and diverse social categories around the world. However, it manifests differently and in varying levels of intensity according to the socio-cultural and institutional factors that shape it. Likewise, A UN Women’s country report (2008) on violence against women and girls in Nigeria presented empirical evidence of the pervasiveness of genderbased violence across the country’s six geopolitical zones. Another UN Women study conducted in 2014 on women’s engagement in peace and security in three conflict-ridden states in northern Nigeria indicated that VAWG is on the upsurge, particularly in post-conflict areas. This assertion is borne out in the proliferation of media reports on various forms of violence affecting women and girls of all ages and walks of life. As a result of the increased prevalence of VAWG, the DFID-sponsored Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) supported the establishment of five Observatories on GBV in five states (Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Rivers), covering three geopolitical zones. This article provides a comparative review of the issues and challenges encountered by these observatories while trying to tackle VAWG. It argues that while there is greater acknowledgement of direct forms of gender-based violence as a growing social malaise warranting policy attention, various dimensions of structural violence underlying them are largely overlooked

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