23% of Nigerian women are abused, says FIDA


The International Federation of Women Lawyers has expressed concern over the rising spate of gender violence in Nigeria, saying 23 per cent of women have been victims of physical or sexual violence committed by their previous husbands.

Among the factors outlined by FIDA as causing violence against women in Nigeria included male dominance and control, power hierarchies, anti-social personality disorder, lower level of education and community norms that ascribe higher status to men and lower status to women.

The organisation also quoted The Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, which reported that out of the over 70,000 African victims of women trafficking, Nigerian women accounted for 70 per cent of those trafficked to Italy alone, with a large number of them claiming to be from Edo State.

The Programme Officer of FIDA, Ifeanyi Iloba, stated this in his presentation during a workshop on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls held in Abuja for law enforcement agents.

He referred to United Nations Women, an international organisation, which raised the alarm that gender-based violence had become a global pandemic affecting one in three women in their lifetime.

Iloba said, “Thirty-five per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Globally, seven per cent of women have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner.

“Globally, 38 per cent of murders of women are committed by intimate partners while 200 million women have experienced female genital mutilation. A UN report shows women in Africa are most at risk of violence. In Nigeria, 23 per cent of women have been victims of physical or sexual violence committed by a previous husband.”

He also quoted the International Organisation for Migration which placed Edo State high in the hierarchy of 36,312 migrants stranded in Niger and Libya.

FIDA said, “As of December 2017, 36,312 migrants stranded in Niger and Libya indicated Nigeria as their country of origin. According to IOM, as of July 2018, over 60,000 Nigerians were trapped in Libya, with 50 per cent of them hailing from Edo State.

“Ninety per cent of migrant women going to Italy from Libya arrive with bruises and other signs of violence. Human trafficking is the third most common crime in Nigeria after drug trafficking and economic fraud.

“The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons further contends that 75 per cent of those who are trafficked within Nigeria are trafficked across states, while 23 per cent are trafficked within states. Only two per cent are trafficked outside the country.”