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We’re culpable in gender violence, council tells religious bodies

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Gender violence

The Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative has tasked religious bodies to find a lasting solution to violence against women and girls.

It stated this yesterday in Calabar during a media briefing to commence a week’s sensitisation to end violence against women and girls in Cross River State.

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President of CCN, Most Reverend Benebo Fubara-Manuel, said the organisation believed that churches have been part of the problem of violence against women and girls and as such, they should also play a part to end the menace.

Fubara-Manuel said the sensitisation programme, which started on August 3, 2021, was taking place in Adamawa, Abuja, Lagos, Ebonyi, and Cross River as focal states, noting that the practice required multilateral efforts and support from traditional, religious and non-religious, groups, individuals and government at all levels.

Fubara-Manuel, who also doubles as Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA), lamented that they were not convinced that governments were sufficiently tackling the menace, adding that the socio-political system was not in favour of women and girls, therefore, CCN opposed marginalisation of women and girls in the society.

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Also speaking, General Secretary of CCN, Reverend Evens Omyemara, said a code of conduct handout on violence against women and girls would be distributed to religious Leaders and gatekeepers of various communities.

He said Calabar Municipal, Calabar South, and Obanliku councils were selected for the sensitisation programme to change people’s perspective on the girl child and woman.

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On her part, the National Coordinator of End Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG), Elder Uzoaku Williams, said: “UNICEF, through the spotlight initiative is actually identifying with various stakeholders and working with Christian and Muslim communities and security agencies to check abuse, discrimination, and gender inequality. ”

“We are also engaging with community leaders visiting schools to sensitise the children. We are meeting theological leaders, who teach pastors in schools and we will meet with Sunday School teachers who spend time with the children and teach them to be peer educators. We want them to join us because we cannot do it alone,” she stated.

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