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For a country like Nigeria -- where toxic masculinity pervades politics, the economy and society -- the challenge is particularly formidable.In Nigeria, such violence is particularly widespread. According to one recent study, 28 percent of women aged 25-29 have experienced some form of physical violence since age 15 . But the violence often starts even younger than that: 18 percent of Nigerian girls are married by the age of 15, leaving them vulnerable to marital abuse and, despite a 2015 ban, female genital mutilation is still carried out with impunity, most commonly on very young girls.Many in Nigeria believe that familial and even societal honor depends on women's complicity, purity and silence. Women who speak out about violence, let alone try to prosecute attackers, face stigma. All of this contributes to significant underreporting of violence.Only five of Nigeria's 24 Cabinet ministers are women, and none of the country's 36 states has a female governor.If Nigeria is to have any chance of achieving SDG5, its government must strengthen laws on gender-based violence and discrimination -- including the myriad cultural practices that damage, disempower and diminish women -- and improve enforcement significantly.
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