Ishaku’s Wife Leads Protest Against Gender-Based Violence In Taraba

 

Wife of the Taraba State Governor, Mrs Anna Ishaku, has led scores of women in the state on a protest against the abuse of their rights which they said have impaired their participation in politics and decision-making.

The protest which was taken to the Legislative, Judicial and Executive Arms of Government in the state seeks laws that will protect victims of abuse and hold offenders accountable.

The women in their number dressed in orange took to the streets of Jalingo, the state capital on Thursday and presented their petitions to the leaders of each arm of government, as part of the 16 days activism against gender-based violence.

According to the United Nations’ statistics on women, 28 per cent of women in Nigeria between ages 25 to 29 have experienced some form of physical violence since the age of 15.

 

This has in no small measure brought about discrimination and the women have demanded an end to the recurring phenomenon of violence against the girl child and other gender-based violence as they want perpetrators to be named and shamed.

Their protests led them to the Taraba State House of Assembly as their first port of call, where they were received by the Speaker and tendered their petition.

They asked the Assembly to sign the bill before it, seeking the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in Taraba.

The protesters also urged the Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the bill, in order to protect women and girls against abuse.

 

Represented by the Provost college of Agriculture, Dr Elizabeth Wachap, they also demanded stringent punishment to perpetrators, just as they want abuse of women treated as a criminal offence and not given a liberal interpretation.

Responding to their demands, Speaker of the Assembly, Joseph Kunini, explained that the Administration of Criminal and Justice Law was already undergoing a review.

“Violence against women is evil and gross violation of human rights, which stands to be condemned,” Kunini said.

He added, “Taraba State House of Assembly is women-friendly and has resolved to uphold the fundamental rights of women.”

 

The Speaker also applauded the wife of the governor for leading the campaign for the inclusion of women in the scheme of things and protection of their fundamental human rights.

At the secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Jalingo, the state’s Chief Judge Filibus Andetur promised to dispense justice speedily and do the needful to protect the rights of women as citizens who deserve equity and transparency.

The protesting women were also received at the State Government House by the Secretary to the State Government, Anthony Jellason.

 

A co-leader of the protest, Dinatu Dodo, demanded the implementation of the bill if passed into law by the State House of Assembly and promised that the women would remain law-abiding.

Although they noted that Governor Darius Ishaku was not gender-biased in the discharge of his administrative responsibilities, the women called for more female appointment into his cabinet.

In his remarks, Jellason promised to deliver their petition to the governor, adding that the state government frowns at gender-based violence and would wage war against it in all ramifications.

PHOTOS: Women Affairs Minister Leads Campaign Against Violence, Rape

Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Tallen while submitting the petition of the women at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Monday, December 2, 2019.

 

Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Tallen on Monday led a campaign against rape and all other forms of Gender Based Violence against women and girls in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The campaign which is in partnership with United Nations is aimed at creating awareness on ending violence against women.

The women later proceeded to the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Supreme Court of Nigeria to demand proper legal structures to prosecute rape perpetrators and provide access to justice for victims of rape.

 

See photos from the campaign below…

Increase Engagement To End Violence Against Women, Osinbajo Urges States

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

 

There is a need to intensify the engagements of state governments across the country in the advocacy against gender-based violence, in order to deepen and strengthen official efforts to prevent its menace.

This is according to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who received Mrs Leymah Gbowee on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja.

“Driving prosecution for sex offenders is best done at the state level, particularly strengthening the states to do so at the National Economic Council,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Seeks Gender Limit Removal For Rape, Tougher Punishment For Kidnappers

Gbowee is the Liberian activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for non-violent struggle, safety, and women’s rights.

The Vice President emphasised the need for states to exercise political will in order to get the desired results, as well as provide the necessary funding to implement, working together with the private sector.

He noted that the Federal Government had open the Sex Offenders Register, saying “It was something that needed a lot of attention, changing the orientation of men in particular, to understand it’s a campaign that must be championed by men.”

In her remarks, Mrs Gbowee noted the prevalence of rape in and out of conflict zones with impunity across Africa.

She described the successful launch of the sex offenders register in Nigeria as a huge milestone, adding that the country has set the precedence for other African countries to follow.

The meeting held a day after the Liberian gave the keynote address at the launch of the Sex Offenders Register organised by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Sexual, Gender Violence: British Council Trains 20 Police Officers

 

The European Union in conjunction with the British Council has trained 20 policemen on how to handle sexual and gender-based violence in Adamawa State.

It has also established four Family Support Units in the state and equipped the units with necessary materials.

Speaking during the handover of the items at the state’s Police Command headquarters in Yola, Adamawa State, the Programme Manager of Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN), Professor Mohammed Tabiu, noted that the state is the first to benefit from the training in Nigeria.

He said that the training would strengthen the capacity of the police to resolve cases of sexual assault and gender-based violence by ensuring quick dispensation of justice.

Tabiu further stated that MCN has established linkages with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Women Affairs, the security outfits and the State Specialist Hospital for referral cases.

Femicide Should Be Treated As National Crisis – South Africans

South African men have led a march to protest violence against women and confront men with the reality that they too must fight for women’s rights.

Hundreds marched through the capital, Pretoria to express their anger at rising cases of attacks on women and children.

“Men are providers; men are protectors of our families. We need to be man-enough. Enough is enough!” said protester, Floyd Cingca.

“It is time that we act. Stop tweeting, stop facebook-ing and go to the streets.

That’s where the problem is. It’s time that you and I come together and take action,” Kholofelo Masha, one of the organisers of the march.

One in five South African women older than 18 experience gender-based violence, a 2016 Statistics South Africa’s Demographic and Health Survey showed.

The report also found that four in 10 divorced or separated women reported physical violence by a partner, as well as one in three women in the poorest households.

These statistics have raised concern among gender rights groups that the government of South Africa is doing little to address what activists have called “a war against women”.

“We are dying… our humanity is taken away without even our consent, our bodies are violated that is what is happening so we are here to just pledge, we are here to display solidarity for the ones that we have lost already and to actually ensure safety in the communities, to beg for security from the law of South Africa because the justice system of South Africa, it keeps on failing us all the time. So we are begging for this issue to actually be concluded as a national state of emergency.

About two weeks ago, South Africa was rocked by the news of the brutal murder of 22-year-old, Karabo Mokoena. Her burnt body was found in a field in north Johannesburg, a day after she went missing. Her 27-year-old boyfriend has been charged with the murder.

Karabo’s death sparked outrage and discussion as women on social media shared their personal stories of physical abuse at the hands of men.

Her uncle, Tshepo Mokoena says Karabo’s family even in grieving, hoped her death would help to end the violence against women and force authorities to act.

“Her death came to me and brought a lot of pain into my heart. But the flipside of it, it has awakened the whole world. It has brought some bit of drop into killing. Even other men who were about to do it – I’m sure once they look at the news; they look at how women are angry and how the whole world is angry. Then I’m sure they would come to their senses and said, ‘you know what, maybe let me not do it,” he said.

“The biggest challenge in our country, is that we talk, talk, talk… and nothing happens. And six months down the line, what happens; there’s another man who kills a woman, there’s another man who assault a woman. So now, what we must do as men, we must stand up and go to government, and start changing certain laws,” he added.

“Whether we need to introduce more harsher laws or change the laws – this I think we must discuss. It’s a crisis in the country, the manner in which women and children are being killed,” South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said as he visited the family of a three-year old girl who was raped and killed last week.

South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and has long been known as the “rape capital of the world”.

Women’s rights campaigner, Nondumiso Nsibande says the government and society at large are dangerously complacent towards sexual violence and gender based violence that some men are not ashamed to admit to it.

“A part of this could also be the way we’ve been socialized. Often time’s men are socialized to behave in a particular way. Men are strong; men are protectors; men should not be in touch with their emotions and all of that. And often times we find that it could actually lead to the situation where they express their anger and frustration by beating women and it’s not something that’s acceptable,” she said.

Activists are pushing for a clear plan on how violence against women can be addressed by government authorities, civil society and the private sector and urge every South African to take on the responsibility to uphold the safety of women and children.

Female Activists Walk Against Gender Based Violence

Female Activists Walk Against Gender Based ViolenceA group of female social and rights activists have staged a street walk around the city of Akure, Ondo State capital calling for an end to violence against women and the female gender.

Amnesty International has decried the high rate of violence acts against the female gender‎ such as rape, battery, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and the likes in Nigeria.

According to one of its reports, nearly three in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical violence since age 15.

Furthermore, one in four married women experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by their husbands or partners.

Olamide Falana is a social activist and politician. She believes gender based violence has been used as a tool for political suppression of women.

This she claims is used in preventing women from getting what they should get in life.

“Today we are walking against gender based violence. We are saying no to all forms of violence against women,‎ girls, children and gender violence generally.

“As we all know, gender based violence has been used as a tool for political suppression of women. It has been used as a tool for reducing women into the lowest ebb and to prevent women from getting what they should get in life. So, today we are all coming to say no to all these.”

‎On her part, the Chairperson of the Ondo State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Olubunmi Arajuwa enlightened women about the various laws that go against violence against women in the state.

She encouraged women who have been victims of such violence to come out and open up so as to bring the violators to book.

“We have so many laws in Ondo State that go against violence against women. I want to tell our people that there are so many penalties against people that violate women’s rights. We are expecting women and even men that are victims to come out and open up”.

A man who chose to identify with the women, Olubunmi Afuye, added his voice to the call saying it is high time men stopped violence against women and cherish them.

“I understand that some women also are perpetrators of violence against one another but mostly men are the perpetrators of violence against women.

“As a man, I stand to identify with the women to say that it is high time we men stopped all these violence and cherish women as they are our mothers, wives and daughters.

“There is nothing we can give them than the respect and love they deserve.”

Lagos State Trains Gender Based Violence Responders

ambode
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, 

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has concluded training for 190 officials of the State Emergency Command and Control Centre on how to receive reports of sexual and gender based violence incidents.

The training was organised in line with the quest of the Lagos State government to ensure that victims of sexual and gender based violence have a voice and concerned members of the public who wish to report acts of violence are able to do so with utmost confidentiality.

Co-ordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adenyi, told reporters on Sunday that the officials were trained on how to receive reports of sexual and gender based violence.

The State government also approved the use of the 112 toll free emergency lines to report cases of rape, defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect maltreatment and other sexual assaults.

Mrs Vivour-Adenyi assured residents that information provided would be passed across while the concerned agencies would be notified immediately.

She said aside the dissemination of the information to the appropriate agencies for appropriate action, callers would be informed of relevant steps to be taken, depending on the nature of the call.

“They would also be given details; addresses and telephone numbers of the relevant agencies that would handle their issues, that is, for cases of rape or defilement, they can report such to the Mirabel Centre or the office of the public defender (OPD)”, Vivour-Adeniyi said.

She said necessary steps had been put in place to help victims of domestic violence get adequate help and counselling as well as free legal services from the OPD.

“The essence of this initiative is to encourage victims and members of the public to make use of the 112 toll free emergency lines in order to ensure access to justice irrespective of class and means,” she said.

Culture Of Silence In Nigeria And Rising Gender Based Violence

Sexual_violenceTalks on violence against women in Nigeria in recent times is slowly becoming regular, as cases of gender based violence continues on a rapid rise.

From rape cases to kidnap of girls and women in northern part of Nigeria, these crimes have remained unabated.

A girl was forced into child marriage in which she suffered abuse and constant battery until her husband died.

She was forced to remarry, taking along her daughter who again was abused by her step-father who also continued to abuse and batter her mother.

An ‘Epidemic’

Another child suffered consistent defilement by two men, suffering psychological damages until she became addicted to sex. she is still nine years old, but addicted to sex.

These are just some of the many common cases women in Nigeria face and many times theses cases are unreported and without support or immediate solution. Some gender activists have called it an ‘epidemic’.

Gender activists say the culture of silence, weak laws and lack of support for victims of violence against women and girls are some reasons for increase in the crime.

As at 2006, a national survey puts percentage of victims of gender violence and abuse at 64.5% and this has multiplied in the last eight years.

The reason for this prevalence, according to Founder, Women Aid Initiative, Dr. Joy Ezeilo, is the weak nature of the laws, wrong socialisation and lack of information.

India and South Africa are top on the list of countries with a high rate of Gender Based Violence.

Gender activists, Kate Henshaw, Aisha Babangida and Christine Kay fear Nigeria runs a risk of topping that chart unless  actions are taken now to address the trend.

Experts have also said that violence against women was not women’s issue but that of the men who are the perpetrators, and also society’s business, which needed to be tackled decisively.

In Nigeria, besides the culture of silence and societal stigmatisation, information for women and the vulnerable as well as support for victims are still grossly inadequate making the fight against gender based violence a long walk yet to begin. These are some of the challenges needed to be addressed in order to end the increasing rate of Gender Based Violence.

Gender Violence: Activists Advocate Education, Abrogation Of Obsolete Laws

Sexual_violenceReligious leaders and right activists have said that gender based violence can only be tackled with wide education and a replacement of obsolete and weak laws to check impunity.

The advice was given at a forum on 16 days of activism against gender violence held in Abuja.

Participants at the forum said that efforts should go beyond teaching girls and women about gender based violence to equipping them with solutions that will protect them from being victims of violence.

The leaders also said that other issues which also need urgent attention to stem the rising tide of violence are society’s further victimization of the victims of violence, the quick dismissals of violence as women’s issues rather than a societal dysfunction and the stereotyping of abuse as only physical, neglecting the emotional and psychological harm inflicted on victims.

The increasing cases of violence against women have become a matter of urgent concern and human rights activists say adequate information for the vulnerable and effective legislation will curb it, such as the bill for violence against persons prohibition which has been pending before the National Assembly for 12 years.

From the religious perspective, however, the tactics are different and that is to teach girls self respect which forbids disrespect and to empower women economically and academically so they are lifted from vulnerability.