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Violence against women on the rise despite efforts.

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki
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Despite the war on violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls, the practice has continued to rise unabated in the country.

As a result of this,no fewer than 43% of Nigerian girls marry before the age of 18 while 17 % of them do so before they turn 15 years, 20,000 new cases of obstetric fistula occur every year because of the child marriages in the country.

The European Union-United Nations(EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative made this remarks during a two day media engagement on violence against women and girls in Nigeria for southern journalists in the country.

In her lecture, UNICEF child protection Specialist, Mrs. Olasunbo Odebode described violence against women and girls as a silent killer that has taken the lives of many victims which the health outcome go beyond the direct result of physical, psychological or mental health issues.

She lamented that violence against women and girls in Nigeria does not receive full legal support because the victims in most cases prefer to be in abusive relationships than leave to face the ridicule of living outside their relationships or their wedlocks.

"The social context of violence against women and girls is based on the traditional patriarchal structure that defines gender. It is the belief in Nigeria being a patriarchal society that women are subordinate to men and when married, they surrender to their husbands

" Women do not have a say in decision making, issues concerning their lives are decided upon and determined by others, usually men and older women; in the family, and violence is prevalent in the society ", she said.