Abia governor’s wife urges end to gender-based violence
The wife of Abia State governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, has expressed worry over the increasing rate of violence against women globally even during the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She spoke, yesterday, in Umuahia during advocacy involving other stakeholders to launch a media campaign that included the distribution of IEC materials, radio and TV jingles, the unveiling of a billboard marking the #16DaysofActivism and all kinds of gender-related violence in the society.
Other civil organisations that joined in the call to end gender-based violence in society were Vicar Hope Foundation, FIDA, National Council of Women Societies, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Child Protection Network, Girls Guide, among others.
Mrs. Ikpeazu noted that in Nigeria alone, there were about 800 reported cases between April and June 2020, adding that this figure became alarming because Nigerians do not often report gender-based violence as they occur.
According to her, “there seems to be a culture or a conspiracy of silence. This silence is what we are seeking to break by encouraging the victims to speak out. It is only when we speak out and identify the issue that we can find solution to it.”
She said that the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and the Vicar Hope Foundation, which she facilitated, had created pathways so that victims who need help can get medical and legal assistance, saying, however, that it is those that speak out or seek help that will be attended to.
The governor’s wife urged that more awareness should be created to galvanise action to end gender-based violence.
While the Director-General of the State Orientation Agency, Mr. Godwin Adindu, beckoned on the media to be in the forefront on the campaign, the state Director of the NOA, Lady Ngozi Okechukwu, said that violence against women had become a shadow pandemic and needed stricter laws to fight it.