Killing of Kaduna LP women leader is gender-based violence in politics, says CHRICED
Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has said the assassination of Labour Party’s (LP) Women Leader in Kaduna State exemplifies the wave of violence against women in the political process.
The organisation, therefore, called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to punish perpetrators of gender-based violence targeted at women and girls.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, in commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Executive Director of CHRICED, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, said the country must wake up to its responsibility of protecting vulnerable and marginalised women.
He said: “CHRICED strongly condemns this killing and calls on law enforcement agencies to get to the root of this murder, apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“As a frontline human rights think tank implementing various projects, which have components focusing on the rights of women, CHRICED is in close touch with thousands of women who bear the brunt of all shades of violence, which violate their rights, impede their potential, and prevent them from using their talents to contribute meaningfully to national development.
“Through various initiatives, CHRICED and its partners have been able to contribute to addressing scores of cases, especially cases of rape, domestic violence, abandonment and discrimination against women.
“However, notwithstanding the milestones recorded by CHRICED and other civil society organisations, major challenges remain in the area of getting justice for women whose rights have been violated by aggressors that unleash violence on them.
“Beginning from the police, which is the lead institution to act as first responder to violence against women and girls, the right attitude, and the commitment to investigate, prosecute and bring perpetrators to justice is non-existent.
“Women who are victims of sexual and gender-based violence are frequently subjected to dehumanisation and derogatory profiling.”
Zikirullahi said CHRICED has documented reports where police officers demanded payments before a case file could be opened and also fare to go and arrest a perpetrator.
He added: “The above reality points to a situation in which the state and its institutions fail to protect the rights of vulnerable women, particularly those who are poor and socially marginalised.
“CHRICED is concerned about this situation because it violates Section 17(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that the ‘state social order is founded on the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.’ Section 17(2a and b) of the Constitution states, “every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law,” and that “the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised, and human dignity shall be preserved and enhanced.
“Therefore, CHRICED calls on the government and governance actors to give meaning and life to the words enshrined in the nation’s Constitution, as well as the provisions against gender-based violence in all other extant laws and international instruments.”