Stakeholders in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and violence against women have called on all levels of government to implement programmes to keep children off the streets in the country.
The stakeholders made the call on Wednesday in Enugu during the marking of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV, held between Nov. 25 and Dec. 10.
The UN global theme for 2020 16 Days of Activism is; “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect’’.
They were of the view that leaving women and girls on the streets begging was a dangerous trend, if the country would definitely save women and/girl child from GBV.
Mr Edward Ugba, representing Caritas Nigeria (Enugu State Office), said that it was not enough for the government to have or make laws and build structures for the homeless and destitute.
According to Ugba, there is need to have a ministry or agency actually doing the execution of the law and taking the responsibility to see that the girl child or women begging were removed off the streets and kept in a decent place and provided for.
“Government at all levels must muster the political-will and provide funding to see that ministry or agency in-charge of social welfare do their duty and save the girl child and women begging from Gender-Based Violence and even rape on the street,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mrs Margaret Nwagbo, Zonal Coordinator of Centre for Eradication of Violence Against Women (CEVAW), said that South-East being a predominantly patrilineal society, its cultural, religious and socio-political systems were designed to ensure that women remained subjects to men.
“Any attempt by women to resist or change the status quo are usually met with varying degrees of outrageous sanctions,’’ Nwagbo said.
She however, outlined some obnoxious practices against women, which infringed on their rights as well as violates them physically and emotionally.
“We have battery and assault, torture of widows, female genital mutilation, assault and pervasive rape of women of all ages and even toddlers among others,’’ she said.
In a lecture titled; “The Role of Stakeholders in Keeping Children Off the Street’’, Mr Frank Akuma, said that a street child always feels abandoned by parents, society and even God.
Akuma, with Christian Centre for Community Development (3CD), said: “This is why they can easily be convinced to take a path that runs against the society later in life; if not properly managed especially earlier in life.
“All stakeholders, both government and Non-Governmental Organisations, should be serious and concerned on how to ensure that no child, whether a boy or girl, is left out there alone and waiting to be taken in by unscrupulous elements in the society’’.
In another lecture titled; “Violence Against Women and Girl Child Applicable Laws” ,Mrs Ify Nwajuaka of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), said that there was a need for women to be empowered in order to give them voice.
Nwajuaka said that the main reasons why women issues as it concern GBV and other cultural obnoxious practices against women persist was due to very low women representation in government especially at the legislature where laws are made.
“We have a lot of laws enacted already and spelt out provisions to protect women and the girl child; but implementation, traditional and cultural barriers have continued to be a challenge.
“So, women needed more empowerment to be in the executive and legislative arms of government to push these issues affecting their lives and wellbeing to concrete actions,’’ she noted.
Mrs Peggy Chukwurah, a participant, said that the event x-rayed issues affecting women and girl child as it concerned GBV and what individuals, NGOs and government could do and needed to show care for women and girls in the street.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CEVAW, organisers of the 16 Days of Activism, within the past 16 days had carried advocacy to schools, worship places and major stakeholders on elimination of GBV in Enugu State. (NAN)
– Dec. 9, 2020 @ 19:03 GMT |