At UN General Assembly Today, President Buhari of Nigeria Becomes First Sitting President to Call for a Global Treaty to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Leading Nigerian Woman’s Rights Activist, Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, Available for Interviews

(September 24, 2021) – In a speech today at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed a treaty to end violence against women and girls. President Buhari is the first sitting President to recognize a global treaty as a solution to this issue, which according to the World Health Organization, impacts 1 in 3 women worldwide. This already bad situation has grown exponentially worse in the wake of COVID-19, according to the latest UN Women’s report, 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.” 

Buhari stated: “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.”

In June, a letter calling for a global treaty to end violence against women and girls was signed by over 260 women’s rights activists from around the world and sent to leaders of the U.N. Women’s Generation Equality Forum. One of the signatories was Nigerian physician and gender expert, Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, who is available for interviews.

“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.”

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.

As the sign-on letter states: “This is not about one country telling another country what to do. This is about nations coming together to take a stand on ending violence against women and girls once and for all.

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