Anambra Commissioner calls on stakeholders to end violence against women
Mrs Ndidi Mezue, the Anambra Commissioner for Children and Women Affairs, has urged stakeholders to work together with the government to end all forms of violence against women.
Mezue made the statement during an opinion poll on violence against women conducted by a correspondent for The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Thursday.
According to NAN, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an annual event celebrated around the world on November 25.
The significance of the day is to emphasize the importance of a violence-free society for women and girls.
According to NAN, the United Nations General Assembly established the day in 1993 to raise awareness about the negative effects of violence against women in society and the need to put an end to it.
“This year’s celebration theme is “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.”
Mezue stated that the celebration was well worth the day and revealed that the Anambra government, through her ministry, has successfully combated violence against women to a reasonable extent.
She revealed that the government has carried the campaign against violence against women and girls to every nook and cranny of the state in order to end gender-based violence.
“We have tried and will continue to try to design new ways to curb the menace and preserve women’s rights in all ramifications,” she said.
Mezue praised Dr Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Anambra governor, for her efforts to reduce violence against women by focusing attention on the plight of vulnerable and impoverished women in the state.
She revealed that, through Obiano’s NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative CAFE, she has gotten involved in a number of cases involving heinous treatment of widows in the state.
Miss Hope Okoye, Anambra Coordinator of the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons Implementation Committee, stated that the event is timely given the level of violence against women in this part of the world.
Okoye stated that the celebration is undoubtedly having a positive impact on the reduction of violence against women and girls in society due to the constant enlightenment it provides to the public.
In order to combat violence against women, she believes that community leaders and society should investigate some of the culture, traditions, and norms that undermine women’s rights.
Okoye stated that the issue of giving more value to the boy child, inheritance sharing methods, and widowhood practices should be investigated in order to provide a fair practice that benefits all.
She stated that leaders should agree on a standard rule that prohibits all forms of violence against women and enact legislation to prosecute perpetrators of all heinous acts against women.
Mrs Ujunwa Ekwoanya, who also spoke, urged the judiciary and lawmakers to take harsher measures against those who violate women’s rights.
According to Ekwoanya, women in rural areas are the hardest hit, and they lack the ability to speak up because greedy men who live in their midst take their landed property, especially if the woman has no male child.
“I would like to see the benefits of this celebration extended to local women, where their rights would be defended for them, as many are victims of violence at the hands of their men,” she said.
Mrs Alice Nsofor, an Evangelist, stated that the Church should play a role in ending violence against women and girls in the state because the government cannot do everything.
Nsofor stated that the church has condemned violence against women through biblical teachings and sermons, and that she prays for those who engage in the practice to repent.
She stated that faith-based organizations should design programs that condemn violence against women and girls in all of its forms out of patriotism.
“God does not discriminate against anyone, and the church should be fully involved in activities that ensure women are not dehumanized in any way.”
Mrs Chioma Beluchukwu stated that all types of organizations, including non-profit organizations, should speak out more about these bad practices against women and girls.
Beluchukwu stated that the government’s orientation agencies should launch more enlightenment programs to educate the masses on how to live a better life and speak out when abused.
According to Mrs. Ngozi Agu, violence against women and girls is one of the most common and shocking human rights violations in the world today.
According to Agu, such violence goes largely unreported because of the stigma and shame attached to such a victim by the general public.
She stated that violence against women has remained a barrier to achieving equality, development, peace, and the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights.
“I pray that as we celebrate the day, it will someday come to an end and that women and girls will be able to celebrate total freedom from violence against them,” she said.