Religious 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.
Right activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana on Monday said the presence situation in the country is nothing short of a full blown war.
Mr Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said a situation where a clash between terrorists and security operatives led to the death of over 187 people; where unknown cultist ambush and slaughter over 40 police officers; and where a Supreme Court Judge is presently looking for his wife, child and driver can be nothing short of war.
“There is a war everywhere; that is why as Nigerians, we cannot afford to leave the Federal Government to fight this war; they cannot,” he said. Mr Falana said though the country is facing a huge war it is ill-prepared to fight.
“These boys have more sophisticated weapon than our armed forces,” he said.
The lawyer said the Federal Government is playing politics with the fight against terrorism by not providing the police with adequate equipment to fight insurgents and criminals.
He said, “A lot of money was budget for security and defence this year, what has happened to the fund if by the middle of May you haven’t passed the budget? It is tantamount to shedding crocodile tears if we simply express regret anytime policemen or soldiers are killed when we didn’t armed them, when we didn’t sufficiently equip them.
“How many of our soldiers and policemen have learnt anything about counter-terrorism? It is a new terrain. How many of them are trained to fight or participate in guerrilla warfare because that is what is going on.
“Are we saying we are so poor that we cannot acquire helicopters to conduct aerial surveillance on a daily basis in these areas?
“Do you know that the policemen and most of the soldiers sent to combat these boys have no bullet proof? It is that bad. You just simply give them Ak47.”