Similarly, according to UNAIDS Fact sheet 2011, Nigeria is the second most burdened country globally with HIV prevalence at 4.6%. About 300,000 new infections occur annually in Nigeria with people aged 15-24 contributing 60% of the new infections. In the same vein, the upsurge in teenage pregnancy and abortion amongst young people in Nigeria can never be overemphasized.
The social exclusion of women in some parts of the world in general and the purdah system in the northern part of Nigeria in particular is among the violence against women that are perpetrated by the state.
Sexual violence is a universal reality existing in all societies regardless of income, class and culture. It would be difficult to find one woman, whom at one time or the other in her lifetime had not been afraid merely because she was a woman. Those women who are particularly vulnerable to violence are those who live in extremely precarious conditions or who are discriminated against on the basis of race, language, ethnic group, culture, age, opinion, religion or membership in a minority group. The World March of Women (2000), also included in the list of those that are affected by sexual violence, women and young girls who are displaced, migrants, refugees or those living under foreign occupation. The need to find solutions to the above problems informed the idea to hold this sensitization program for 250 secondary school students in FCT Abuja.
The outcome of the workshop was overwhelming, topics on causes, effects and consequences, prevention and control strategies were discussed by expects from both public and private sector. In attendance were parents, teachers, corps members, Public Health workers, staff of National Human Right Commission, security agents etc.
The causes of sexual violence was summarized as being deeply rooted in the way society is set up-cultural beliefs, power relations, economic power imbalances, and the masculine idea of male dominance, parents naivety in discussing issues around sex with their children, peer pressure and lack of information and access to reproductive health services.
The effects and consequences were identified to include unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STI), physical injury and trauma. In Nigeria as in many other parts of the world, a lot of stigma is attached to a woman who has been raped or sexually abused.
Prevention and control strategies were enumerated as follows:
Promoting abstinence or preventive education
Support and resources
Access to a comprehensive reproductive health services
Develop culturally competent community- and school-based projects that will focus more on mentoring and attitudinal change.
The workshop gave insight to successes recorded so far, as there has been a shift in thinking in the last few years about this topic and it is now viewed as both a public health problem and human rights violation. Many private and public institutions are now working tirelessly to combat the crime and bring culprits to book. Advocacy is being carried out to policy makers to enact laws prohibiting such acts and also the police whose duty it is to maintain law and order in the country are now being criticized publicly for their weakness in bringing offenders to justice.