The wife of Abia Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, heads of Non Profit Organisations in the state have joined other global Leaders and International Organisations to call for an end to gender based violence as the world marks #16DaysOFActivism.”
Mrs. Ikpeazu, led in advocacy other stakeholders to launch a media campaign that included distribution of IEC materials, radio and TV jingles, billboards all conveying messages , the unveiling of a bill board marking the 16 days of activism and all kinds of gender related violence in the society.
The Governor’s Wife explained that the #16 Days of Activism, is an event promoted by the United Nations system as driven by Civil Society Organisations all over the world to highlight the fight to end sexual and gender based violence, especially violence against women.
The Abia First Lady lamented the increasing rate of violence against women globally during the lock down as occasioned by the coronavirus disease.
In Nigeria alone, there were about 800 reported cases between April to June 2020 , this figure she said becomes 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 the Ministry of Women Affairs and the Vicar Hope Foundation have created pathways so that victims who need help can get medical and legal assistance, therefore those that speak out will have solutions provided to them immediately.
Apart from the media campaigns to spread the message, the Governor’s wife maintained that more awareness shall be created to galvanize action to end Gender Based Violence .
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Chief Mrs. Ukachi Amala expressed that every form of gender related violence must end. According to her, “we all gathered here to join the rest of the world to say no to the tears of the girl child”.
The Director of National Orientation Agency, Lady Ngozi Okechukwu in her own speech reteirated that violence against women has become a shadow pandemic and needs stricter laws to fight the situation while head of Abia State Orientation Agency,Mr Godwin Adindu said the Media should be in the forefront of the campaign.
Other NGOS and Civil Society Organisations who joined in the call to end Gender Based Violence in the society were Vicar Hope Foundation, FIDA, National Council of Women Societies, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, National Orientation Agency, Child Protection Network, and Girls Guide.