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Group seeks actions to end all forms of stigma, discrimination

By Ikenna Osuoha [NAN]

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Nigerian Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (NINERELA+) have

Call for action to end all forms of stigma and discrimination against vulnerable people in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group made the call in Abuja on Monday to mark the International Day for Zero Tolerance

For discrimination annually celebrated on March 1 to raise awareness on the need to end the menace.

The day has “Zero Tolerance Against Women and Girls” as its theme for this year.

Mrs. Amber Erinmwinhe, the National Coordinator of NINERELA+, stressed the need for united front against all manners of discrimination,

especially against women and girls.

She urged stakeholders to take action against discrimination and stigma, which was inimical to societal progress.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, the Programme Manager of the group, said discrimination and stigma were capable of limiting the victim’s potential,

especially women and girls as they would not be able to live their lives to the fullest.

Nwakamma called on all to unite against the menace, adding that the war against discrimination and stigma should start from the

homes to the community level.

“We should begin to end all those practices that tend to place the girl culturally under the boy. We should begin to let our boys know that

they have no right to bully or beat the girl simply because of gender difference,” he said.

Ms Rashidat Jogbojogbo, the Principal Programme Manager, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), said the agency was

committed to end all forms of discrimination and stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS.

She said the agency had translated the 2014 anti-discrimination and stigma law for persons living with HIV into three major

Nigerian languages namely; Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba.

Ms Ebere Umeh, the Gender/Human Rights Technical Advisor, Association of Positive Youth Living with HIV/AIDS (APYIN), said it was

time to end stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

Umeh, who decried discrimination against persons living with HIV, said that it was capable of causing depression and even self-stigma.

Ms Deborah Mamman, the FCT Programme Officer, African Network of Adolescents and Young People Development (ANAYD), blamed

gender discrimination on the preferential treatment on male child by parents at home.

Mamman said that such attitude had caused more harm than good in building an equitable society devoid of gender injustice.

Mr Nicholas Dike, the Youth Coordinator, Interfaith Youth and Peace Building Network of Nigeria, said his group was determined to

end divisions in forms of discrimination in the society. (NAN)

 


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