Obaseki, NAS call for stringent penalties to eliminate violence against women
National Association of Seadogs (NAS), also known as Pyrate Confraternity, has urged Federal Government and states to extend the severe penalty placed on kidnapping, armed robbery to domestic violence against women, saying it has become a critical issue where men, women and children lose their lives.
The call came just as Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says his government is taking steps to advance policies and programmes to guarantee the protection of women and girls.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, at the weekend, in commemoration of the International Day Against Domestic Violence, the Capoon of Barakuda X Deck, Ejiro Akudihor, noted that though domestic violence accounts for most social vices, government pay less attention to it.
He urged victims to speak up, saying it is the first step to getting solution.
“Violence against the female gender is something we need to fight against.
“The way forward is for members of the society to speak out when there is violence against anybody.
“One of the biggest problem we have is the prosecution of such crime because it is difficult to handle it in this country. But the advocacy will help and gradually, we will get there.”
OBASEKI, in a statement, said: “In commemoration of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we reaffirm our government’s commitment to sustaining efforts to guarantee the rights and welfare of Edo women, as well as end all forms of violence against women and girls in the state.
“As a women-friendly government, we are taking deliberate steps to engender inclusive and sustainable growth, providing opportunities for more women and girls to realise their fullest potential. We have continued to support our women, as we have more women occupying top positions in our government, leveraging their creative thinking and innate potential to build a better and inclusive society.
“We are also training and empowering more women and girls in the state, encouraging them to tap into the potential of digital technologies, through our skills development initiative, Edojobs. We currently have over 100,000 women and young girls who have benefitted from various training programmes on in-demand tech skills in fields such as Web Development Fundamental, Data Analytics Fundamental and Digital Marketing Fundamental, among others.”
To accelerate the process of justice delivery on cases of sexual and gender-based violence, the governor said the state established specialised courts for speedy trial of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence offences in the state.
“This will ensure more convictions to serve as a deterrent to offenders and others, who might have the intention of committing the same crimes,” Obaseki added.
MEANWHILE, Senior Programme Manager, Gender and Development Action (GADA), Inyingi Erema, has said that domestic violence has become a health crisis.
She explained that domestic violence contributes to most medical conditions.
She said: “People think domestic violence is something that we just talk about and we move on without recognising that it actually can cause the death of persons, men or women.
“We are using this opportunity to call on the government and the police to handle issues of domestic violence as the crime that it is, not just as a soft issue that NGOs and women cry about. When we have issues of kidnapping, armed robbery, the government takes it seriously and everybody takes it seriously.”
“The police is called and the police takes it seriously, but when it is a case of domestic violence that can actually cause death, we look at it as women’s issue or a soft issue but it is not. It is an issue that can cause the death of person and the state government are responsible for the protection of welfare and security of life and property.