By Khadija Ishaq Bawas
The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists in Nigeria (NRHJN) has called for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) – VAPP- law in all states of the federation as part of achieving the 2020 Sustainable Development Goals.
Asst. Reps/Coordinator, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Lagos Office, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin, made the call during a webinar to mark the 2020 World Population Day.
First marked on July 11, 1990 in more than 90 countries, the United Nations says devoting a day to population issues is vital for economic and social gains that could propel development.
As the 2020 World Population Day coincides with the Covid-19 pandemic, issues related to family planning, maternal health, sexual violence and related human rights issues come into focus across the globe.
It is on this note that the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists in Nigeria organised a webinar session to mark the day with the theme: “WORLD POPULATION: Putting the Brakes on COVID-19: How to Safeguard the Health and Rights of Women and Girls Now”
At the webinar, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin said “47 million women in 114 low and middle-income countries (Nigeria inclusive) may not be able to access modern contraceptives, while 7 million unintended pregnancies are expected to occur.”
Adding that, “31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can be expected to occur in this pandemic in Nigeria. Within the past few months, issues of gender-based violence have been on increase.”
Dr Omolaso therefore reiterated the urgent need for domestication of the VAPP law in all states of the federation, saying this would help achieve 2020 Sustainable Development Goals.