Features  |  Gender  

WANEP canvasses improved security, protection of women, girls

By Kanayo Umeh and Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja |   19 June 2020   |   4:09 am  

NOA condemns rising cases of rape, gender violence
The West Africa Network for Peace Building, Nigeria (WANEP-Nigeria) and its affiliate organisations have expressed concern over the increasing sexual assault and rape of women and girls in the country.

It stated this in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Bridget Osakwe, titled, “Urgent Call to End Gender-Based Violence and Protect the Rights of Women and Girls in Nigeria.”

She said the recent cases of rape and sexual harassment of women and girls were an expression of a deeper systemic disregard for women as widely reported in the media resulting in the death of victims have sparked outrage across the country.

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Specifically, she cited the rape and murder of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Queen Igbinevbo, in Edo State on May 20, 2020, the rape and killing of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a student of University of Benin in a Church also in Edo State on May 27, 2020.

There are also the cases of Barakat Bello, an 18-year old female student of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production in Ibadan, Oyo State on June 1, 2020 and the gang rape of a 12-year old girl at Ajah, Lagos State on June 4, 2020, among others.

To this end, WANEP charged state and non-state actors to implement transformative and people-oriented strategies focused on addressing the causes of gender-based violence, improve security with specific attention on women and girls and enact laws for strong national response that support victims and survivors.

In a similar vein, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) described the escalating rape cases and sexual violence against women as an evil against humanity which all Nigerians should work together to stop.

Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, in a statement issued by Assistant Director of Press, Paul Odenyi, said parents, teachers and religious leaders, who are responsible for teaching good behaviour and security agants to enforce the laws against the menace by taking urgent action aimed at protecting the girl child.

He wondered how sexual offences against the female gender became so widespread in all parts of the country, noting that rape was not just a crime against culture, but also an offence against the morality of all religions.

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