Declare State Of Emergency On Rape And Other Sexual And Gender Based Violence; FCT NAWOJ Tells Federal And State Governments

The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has called on the Federal and State governments to declare state of Emergency on Rape and other Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

This was contained in a statement signed by the Chairperson of FCT NAWOJ, Comr. Annah Daniel and

Secretary Comr. Nkiru Nnoli Okeke in Abuja to commemorate the International Women’s Day.

According to her, “Nigeria is signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women(CEDAW),The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) among other similar charters, sadly there is low political will to full implementation of these global treaties.”

The statement further stressed the need for full domestication of these treaties by state governments “worthy of note is the fact that despite the sharp rise in reported cases of sexual and gender based violence during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic, there has not been commensurate arrests and prosecution of culprits as victims seldom get justice and are most often blamed and stigmatized.

The Statements also wants leaders at all levels to expedite action against rape offenders to serve as a deterrent to others and thereby curb this ugly trend.

In the area of leadership, Nigerian women have proved that they can be trusted in both in elective and appointive positions, however, the number of women in governance doesn’t represent the abilities of our women. This means that women are under-represented at the decision making level. Nigeria is far from attaining the 35% Affirmative Action of women in public and political offices. This is despite having exceeded 50% in the last dispensation.

NAWOJ however calls on the Federal, State and Local governments to ensure they implement the 35% Affirmative Action by including more women in offices for gender mainstreaming in policy making and protection of the rights of women as stipulated by CEDAW, VAPP Act and other related laws.

“We call for more proactive action to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizenry, most especially women, girls and the vulnerable”

On her part, the guest speaker, a Psychologist and Founder Comfort Stream Aid Foundation, Theresa Anthony, who spoke on Mental Health for Women, stressed the need for frequent medical check of emotional, psychological, and social well beings of women to avoid hazards to come with it that is dangerous.

Earlier, the FCT Council Chairman, Comr. Emmanuel Ogbeche commended the organisers of the event, charged the federal government to ratify ILO 190 convention and recommendations 206 to help curb women abuses at work place.

In a remark, the Head of Gender Unit NSCDC,CSC Alao Kemi who spoke on “the role of women in security” stressed the need for developing effective strategies of communication and rapid response as well as women being security consciousness in the wake of rising cases of violence against women.

Also speaking, National Coordinator, Supporting Hands Initiative, Bassey Ita Ikpang explains the need for women to be resilience and build support system among themselves as well as inculcate spirit of never give up.

Other speakers from various organizations that collaborated with NAWOJ FCT to mark the day such as Founder Cherish Cooperative Society, Emem Bassey, Director of Programs, Sowlight Resources Ltd, Adelodun Emmanuel took turn to make their presentations

The theme of this year celebration of women’s day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 World” this is apt as the world struggles to eradicate the pandemic and overcome the devastating effects of the corona virus.

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