Magistrates undergo training on violence against women
To increase awareness of violence against women, a two-day residential capacity-building training on elimination of the menace was organised for the lower court (magistrates/customary) by a non-governmental organisation, Women Aid Collective (WACOL) in collaboration with the Ford Foundation in Umuahia, Abia State.
Participants and stakeholders in the polity were tasked to play more positive roles towards checking the increasing
incidences of violence and other harmful societal and traditional practices against women and girls.
The training was held at Gado Hotel and had over 30 trainee participants drawn from Abia and Imo states who brainstormed on the transformation of the social norms and practices that constitute violence against women and girls in the two states.
Head of WACOL Communications, Mrs Egodi Blessing Igwe, told The Guardian that the training was aimed at
arousing the consciousness of the trainees, among other stakeholders, on the issue of violence against women and
girls, promoting gender equality and increasing the trainees’ capacity to take necessary decisions, implementing relevant laws to address cases of violence and other obnoxious traditional practices against women which she said were on the increase.
One of the resource persons and law lecturer at Imo State University, Owerri, Dr Chigoziri Ojiaka, who presented
three papers titled ‘Women’s Rights Issues, Violence Against Women and Negative Social Norms’, described violence
against women as detrimental to development. She stressed that violence and harmful practices at all levels
must be nipped in the bud for the good of society, noting that it has claimed lives, increased social vices, and destroyed families and emotions.
According to her, violence against women and girls has been adjudged a global pandemic and one of the most pervasive forms of violation of their rights in public and private spaces. Hence it has become a health emergency that requires attention.
“Most of the violent cases against women were gender-based and prevalent and yet the perpetrators were not
usually punished hence the scenario seems like a societal and institutional gang up”.