In observance of International Women’s Day, participants march from the centre of Monrovia to the Temple of Justice, home of the Liberian Supreme Court, where they staged a peaceful sit-in protest against gender-based violence. UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

Africa should invest more in the economic emancipation of women and girls if efforts aimed at countering poverty and violence are to yield any tangible results.

Nelson Banda, a women’s rights advocate told Xinhua in an interview that it is practically impossible to register any meaningful changes with regard to the advancement of women and girls without first tackling the issue of economic development and investments in the education of the female.

“Without these, any other efforts prove difficult to yield desirable results,” Banda asserts. Violence against women and girls remains a challenge of great concern for entities and individuals working in the area of women and vulnerable groups on the continent.

According to a 2019 World Bank report, violence against women and girls is a global challenge that affects 1 in 3 women, with severe consequences on countries’ social and economic development.

The major contributing factor to this is the economic and social status of women and girls coupled with some harmful traditional practices and beliefs that seek to place women at the receiving end of these unfortunate occurrences, he adds.

According to him, much of the violence targeted at women and girls aims at stripping them of their dignity as individuals.

It is also meant to invoke a sense of fear which causes victims of violence less likely to talk about their ordeals and later on seek help.

Banda proposes that to counter this, countries with the highest numbers of cases of violence against women and girls invest in programs that focus on education and economic emancipation for women and girls through various programs.

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.

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