A Non-governmental organization, Women’s Rights and Health Project, WRAHP, Monday called on the Judiciary, Police and Governments at all levels to wake up to the task of ensuring speedy dispensation of Justice for the girl-child and women suffering from gender-based violence in the Society.
The Executive Director of WRAHP, Mrs. Bose Ironsi who stated this during a-3 -day workshop for Community Representatives on Enhancing Gender-equality and protection from gender-based violence in Ebonyi state at Clevero Hotel, Abakaliki, solicited support from Community members, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria and other agencies of Government in the fight against gender-based violence.
The programme which is powered by WRAHP with support from the Open Society Initiative West Africa, OSIWA, is implementing a 12 month intervention to enhance gender-equality and protection from gender-based violence for women, girls and Communities in Ebonyi and Edo State.
Ironsi who listed Community interference, the value placed on the girl-child in the society and delayed justice as some of the challenges facing issues bordering on gender-based violence in the country stressed that all hands must be on deck to ensure justice for the girl-child and women at all levels in the society.
“The institution responsible for Justice, am talking about is the Police, Judiciary and Government should wake up. And try as much as possible to put structures in place, so that justice will be flowing and not delayed. What is happening is that justice is being delayed in most setting.
“If someone is sexually abused and the case takes one, two, three, four years and the case is still ongoing, the person will be tired. Community interference is another challenge why the issue bordering on SGBV doesn’t come to logical conclusion.
“They will say, it is our family matter. And until we go beyond that point, we should deal with the issue. If we have a perpetrator in the community, take that person away from the community. The value placed on the girl child is another challenge. How will a 13 year old boy can decide to rape a 30 year old woman? It is the value that the society has placed on the girl child. Until we start changing the narratives and start seeing the woman as a human being first, then we will be nowhere.
“The men should get involved. We are here to get key stakeholders involved because we cant leave Government alone to handle this issue. The Government and CSOs have been able to put in place the Violence against women prohibition Law. We have to work with the law.”
In her remarks, Barr. Mrs Grace Iheanachor Chima, FIDA Chairperson, Ebonyi state, who described the fight against gender-based violence as a collective one called on Nigerians and participants of the programme to make themselves readily available for the protection of the girl-child against violators and rapists in the society.
“It’s a collective fight and everybody must get involved. We have to make sure that violence against women ends in the world. Put what you learn into practice. The culture of silence must be broken. Victims are dependent on us.”