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Violence against women is a leading factor of maternal mortality.

Expert: Violence Against Women Is A Leading Factor Of Maternal Mortality

In order to address Nigeria’s position as the number one country in child and maternal mortality after India, violence against women has been identified as the key factor leading to the cause.

This was disclosed by the Executive Director of TAConnect, Dr. Lilian Anomnachi, in Abuja, during the unveiling of The Purple Book, tagged, “From Voices to Action,” a curation of policy and programme recommendations from the Policy Implementation Committee of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) maiden Gender and Inclusion Summit (GS-22) held in Abuja, in 2022.

In her contribution to the panel discussion with the theme, “Women’s health and the SDGs: exploring intersecting priorities for 2030 and beyond,” she said other factors which include sociocultural practices, lack of education, and knowledge about women’s rights and poverty were adding to the indices.

She added that with about half of the population being women, more women would be needed to acquire higher education, financial freedom, and serve in the criminal justice system.

“Gender-based violence is one of the factors leading to maternal mortality. In a poor family where there is a boy and a girl of school age, choices need to be made, and in most cases, the sentiment that the boy child has more value than the girl comes into play.

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“So without education which will help her in making informed choices about marriage and the choice and age to marry, the figures of maternal mortality increase and become a vicious cycle.

“To curb this, women with higher educational status are needed. Women need to be financially independent so that they can make informed health choices and become open to better opportunities. That alone has a huge impact on the maternal indices.”

Speaking, NESG CEO, ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, emphasised that the recommendations in the Purple Book aligned with best practices for delivering gender programmes and would facilitate inclusion and diversity while connecting the dots for an equitable society.

He said: “This book serves as a reference document that helps people reflect on the conversations at the summit and take actionable recommendations they can use to deliver gender-responsive programs within their organisation and in government.

“Policy Innovation Centre (PIC) of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has unveiled its Purple Book, to help cross-sectoral stakeholders explore transformative ways to achieve gender equality (SDG 4) in Nigeria.”