Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari became the first sitting president to call for a global treaty to end violence against women and girls at the UN General Assembly in September 2021.
Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the treaty to end violence against women and girls in his speech at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.
This speech made him the first sitting president to endorse the global treaty as the solution to the silent pandemic of gender abuse, which according to the World Health Organisation data affects 1 in every 3 women around the world.
The pandemic however worsened with the wake of the Covid19 lockdown as a result of which the UN tagged it as The Shadow Pandemic.
Buhari’s statement in support of a treaty ending violence against women and girls followed his remarks emphasizing the “safeguarding of human rights” and the “promotion of fundamental freedoms.”
He added that “Nigeria has been steadfast in safeguarding human rights, including the advancement of women, the protection of children, the protection of the rights of people living with disabilities, the treatment of migrants, refugees, returnees and displaced persons as well as, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through all legitimate means….In this context, Nigeria calls for collective global action through a Treaty to end all forms of violence against women and girls of all ages.”
Over 260 women’s rights activists from around the world sent a letter calling for a global treaty to end violence against women and girls to the U.N. Women’s Generation Equality Forum in June 2021. One of the signatories to this letter was Nigerian physician and gender expert, Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi the President of the Medical Women’s International Association and health activist. She is also a co-founder of Everywoman Treaty, the coalition advocating for a global treaty to end violence against women and girls.
The right to be free from violence is a universal human right,” says Dr. Nwadinobi. “I commend President Buhari for heeding our call for this vital and necessary treaty. We need action immediately to protect women and girls everywhere.
Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi
She further stated that this is not about one country telling another country what to do, but about nations coming together to take a stand on ending violence against women and girls once and for all. The proposed global treaty would mandate new laws proven to lower rates of violence; training and accountability for police officers, judges, social welfare, and health care workers; violence prevention education; services for survivors such as hotlines, shelters, and legal protections; and increased funding for implementation. It would also create a universally accepted definition of violence against women and girls and provide explicit standards for criminal prosecution and punishment, as well as concrete remedies that bring justice to survivors.
In this context, Nigeria calls for collective global action through a Treaty to end all forms of violence against women and girls of all ages