Activism:Silence, major setback in fight against Gender Based Violence against Women, Girls in Kogi- stakeholders
As part of activities marking the 16 days of Activism for the elimination of Gender Based Violence, (GBV), stakeholders have identified continuously silence by survivors as one of the major factor hindering the success of the campaign in Kogi State.
In a sensitization walk held in Lokoja on Monday in commemoration of 16 days of Activism to end Gender Based Violence in Kogi State, which was organized by Kogi Women Constituency Lead, Spokeperson of the group Eunice Abimbola Agbogun posited that many Women and Girls are dying in silence despites suffering from all forms of violence in the State.
Agbogun, who is the Executive Director Challenged Parenthood Initiative, (CPI) posited that, there is need for aggressive awareness on the need for survivors of Gender Based Violence to open up on this societal menace, stressing that, it is a collective responsibility for Nigerians to combat this pervasive issue.
While noting that eradicating Gender Based violence requires strategic, targeted, and adequately funded interventions from Multi sectoral approach, Agbogun opined that, a designated court will give speedy actions to cases of Gender Based Violence in Kogi State.
“A costed action plan provides a roadmap, allocating resources where they are most impactful. It encompasses prevention, protection, and support mechanisms, ensuring a holistic approach to address the root causes and consequences of gender-based violence.
” The toll of gender-based violence on individuals, families, and societies is immeasurable, affecting mental, physical, and economic well-being. By committing resources to this cause, we invest in a safer, more just world for all.
“As the Women Constituency Lead in Partnership with other CSOs and various Government agencies embark on these year 16 Days of Activism, let us unite in our resolve to turn the tide against gender-based violence.
“Together, let us advocate for the a multi sectoral costed action plan for effective implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law and a designated court that not only speaks to our aspirations but also ensures a future where every person can live free from fear, violence, and discrimination” she stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) Dr Tony Ojukwu disclosed that the Commission stands resolute in its commitment to address critical issues affecting the rights of women and girls.
Represented at the occasion by the Kogi State Coordinator of NHRC, Barr. Nuhu Musa Mohammed, he noted that the day serves as a poignant reminder of the pressing need to confront and alleviate the multifaceted challenges faced by women and girls and by extension the society.
Explaining the importance of the day, Mohammed said “The theme for the 2023 16 days of Activism is,” INVEST TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS “. The theme focuses on the importance of financing different prevention strategies to end violence against women and girls.
“It is an unequivocal truth that a society that invests in the wellbeing, progress and independence of women reaps immeasurable benefits. Our efforts towards fostering an environment that champions and priorities the Rights of women to Reproductive health, education and economic empowerment will lay a foundation for a more equitable and violence free society which empowers women to make informed decisions and choices that benefits them and promote their well-being and rights.
“This year’s theme urges us to reflect deeply on the various prevention strategies needed to halt violence at its roots. It prompts us to channel our efforts into initiatives that safeguard the rights and dignity of every woman and girl.
“As we celebrate this year’s 16days of activism the Commission calls for the Ratification of the Maputo protocol which has very laudable provisions for protection of the rights of women”.
He, however, called concerted efforts by the security agencies especially the Nigerian Armed forces to rescue women and girls who are in captivity of insurgents and bandits.
Also speaking, the Country Vice President/National President, International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA) Nigeria Amina Agbaje described Gender Based Violence as global problem that requires concerted global action. According to her, their is need for all stakeholders to join hand to build a safe and more inclusive world for Women and Girls.
Represented by the Kogi State Chairperson of FIDA, Lilian Okolo, she said ” FIDA Nigeria remains steadfast in it’s commitment to to prevent violence against Women and Girls and calls on the Government, private sector, Civil Society Organizations, media and indeed all stakeholders to amplify their commitments and investment to improved laws and violence preventions”.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba who was represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary Stella-Maris Andy lamented that it was very worrisome that the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, (NDHS) 2018 report found out that, nine percent of Women aged 15 and 49 had suffered assault at least once in their life time and 31 percent had experienced physical violence
Earlier, the Director General, Kogi State Public Defender and Citizens Right Commission Abdullahi Zakari while noting that the organization is saddled with the enforcement of Violence Against Person Prohibition, (VAPP) Law in the State stated that, there are more reported cases of domestic violence by Men than before.
According to him, the fight against Gender Based Violence remains on course stressing that, survivors of domestic violence must speak out to stop the menace in Nigeria.