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WACOL Harp On Need For More Collaboration To End Violence Against Women

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As Nigeria joins the world to Commemorate this year’s Day to eliminate Violence Against Women and to mark the start of global sixteen days of activism to end Violence Against Women, (VAW), a non- governmental organization NGO, WomenAid Collective WACOL, has stressed the need for a more robust collaborations by Stakeholders to prevent the ugly act.

Founder of (WACOL)/Tamar SARC, Professor Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, in a statement made available to African Examiner on Friday, regretted that the spate of Violence Against Women in the society has been alarming.

According to her, “globally, violence against women persists as the most permeating human rights violation.

“From denial of women’s basic rights to gross violation of their dignity and without regard for their voices both online and offline.
“Women’s Rights have been under attack for a long time. These violations also extend to women’s rights defenders and activists who continue to challenge the status quo despite all odds.
“In Nigeria, a number of factors namely: harmful traditional/cultural practices, poverty, ignorance, poor implementation of relevant laws/policies and corruption have continued to exacerbate existing impunity and inequality.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), noted that “inadequate data on the exact number of violations in the country can easily be attributed to low reportage due to fear of stigmatization, victim blaming and reprisal attacks.

“Lack of political and economic will by relevant Governmental agencies to implement laws and policies that affect women continues to undermine women’s progress and gender equality agenda.

“Despite these barricades over the years, women have recorded huge victories and attained milestones in the struggle to take charge of their lives and maximise their potential.

She disclosed that on daily basis WACOL, handles approximately 20 cases of violence against women and girls, the forms of violence encompass physical, psychological, socio-economic and sexual violence, including harmful practices and sexual and reproductive health rights.

“The time is now to end all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Nigeria and ensure the empowerment of all women and girls as adumbrated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of which inclusion is paramount, leaving no one behind.

Prof. Ezeilo, posited that “indeed, this year’s theme: “UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls’ (VAWG) provides stakeholders- both state and non-state actors with the opportunity to reflect, take stock and commit to partnership and cooperation that will bring about the desired change.

“Moving forward, stakeholders must prioritise the adoption of human rights and survivor-centered approaches in responding to cases of violence against women.

“The process of investigation to court trial should not re-traumatise the victim. For trust to be built in the process and to encourage more victims/survivors to break the silence and speak up, then SGBV trained experts should be engaged to ensure strict adherence to the principle of confidentiality and do no harm.

“Hence, WACOL’s unrelenting demand for establishing specialised SGBV courts in all states in Nigeria and adopting practice directions and guidelines for effective implementation of Protection Order under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Laws.

She stressed that “Deliberate steps must be taken to dismantle stereotypes and disrupt patriarchal superstructures and social milieu that reinforce and exacerbates sex stereotypes, discrimination, and VAWG

Advocacy at all levels, especially at the local/ grass-root level should be prioritised.

“There should be sensitisation on the need to UNITE to combat and prevent violence against women and girls.

“It is imperative for all actors to harmonise actions to avoid duplication of efforts to spotlight women’s rights successes and understand unique challenges.

“Finally, I urge the government and non- governmental actors, including the international donor community to invest in actions that will not only amplify the voices of women but also empower them to participate in governance and decision-making positions at all levels.

“WACOL’s vision from the outset of its formation twenty-five years ago (1997 to 2022) was targeted at building a democratic society, free from violence where the human rights of all, in particular, women and children are respected in law and practice.

The WACOL boss, however, urged all in particular men to stand in solidarity with WACOL as we commemorate our 25th anniversary towards the realization of this vision.

“Progress for women is progress for men and society in general. Solidarity with women’s groups, feminist movements, and organisations is imperative in building the nation of our dream.

“It is only in unity that we can achieve a violence free society! Act now to end the impunity violence against women and girls.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=83313

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