The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and the Africa Unite Campaign are rallying ECOWAS member states to help end violence against women and girls in sub Saharan Africa.
To this end, the Fifth Regional Committee Meeting of Africa Unite, held at the headquarters of ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, agreed on the joint implementation of Africa Unite’s communication strategy by the two organizations.
A statement issued by the Department of Communication, ECOWAS Commission, said using the strategy, Africa Unite and partners were expected to throw more light on violence against women and girls, and also increase public awareness and social mobilization against the phenomenon.
The campaign will help mobilize support for African Government to enable them to fulfil their commitment to end violence against women and girls and empower women and their communities to stop violence by demanding accountability.
The statement said Dr Adrienne Diop, the Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to the campaign, with Africa Unite and the UN Women as allies.
Similarly, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, noted that women were always vulnerable when conflicts arose in the region.
Ms Jennet Kem,a representative of Africa Unite, the Regional Component of the UN campaign to end violence against women and girls, said the group would continue to adopt and enforce national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls.
The statement said the group argued that violence prevented women from enjoying human rights and fundamental freedoms such as the right to life and security of persons to attain the highest standard of physical and mental health, education, work and housing, and to participate in public life.
Africa Unite is an inter-agency initiative that groups some 14 UN organizations in support of Africa countries to undertake coordinated, substantial and sustained actions to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of UN Women, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the Swedish Ambassador in Nigeria and officials of the ECOWAS Commission.
Source: Daily Graphic