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Lockdown: Women exchanged sex for food, says CAN

THE Christian Association of Nigeria on Thursday expressed concern over the level of hunger in the country, saying men and women exchanged sex for food during the lockdown over COVID-19 pandemic.

While warning that the country might experience a season of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls, if urgent steps were not taken, the organisation also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to prioritise investment in food production to reduce hunger and fast-track economic wellbeing of the people, especially women and girls.

The President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, raised these alarms in Abuja during the launching of CAN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

According to him, rather than pay lip service to women emancipation, the government should focus on practical means to address their economic and social needs in safe spaces free of violence and abuse.

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Ayokunle said, “Economic challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak posed a serious threat to young women’s work and business activity and exposed them to increased risk of exploitation and abuse.

“We observed that higher levels of food insecurity and hunger led women and men to exchange food for sex. So, we urge the government to do more to reduce hunger in the land, which will help to fight gender-based violence in Nigeria.”

He described the 16 Days of Activism against GBV by the government and stakeholders as a welcome development.

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