Executive Director, Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI), Adaora Onyechere has disclosed that more than 1,000 women and girls have been abducted from schools and villages across Nigeria.
She disclosed this in Abuja during the Women for Peace Culture and Arts Exhibition symposium and the official launch of the GSAI baseline report on Saturday.
According to her, the attack and kidnapping of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers by terrorists in March had added to the number. She added that women and girls make up 79% of the roughly 2.5 million or more displaced people across the country.
Her words: “Unfortunately, while the focus on victimised girls has helped to garner international support, the effort has continued to overlook the role that women and girls play in the insurgency’s operations and ideologies in Nigeria.
“The increased use of rape, other forms of sexual violence and abduction from schools as tactics of systematic terror attacks on civilian populations is a demonstration that terrorism and extremism target and affect women, men, girls and boys in different ways.
“Women and girls are not only victims of terrorist and extremist acts. They too play diverse roles in support of or as part of terrorist and extremist groups, just as they also contribute to actions and strategies to counter and prevent terrorism and violent extremism in their communities, countries and across the world.
“It is time to think critically about the review of policies on violent extremism and be deliberate about women’s role and their right to be included in the conversation that affects them the most.”