The Senate has pledged to battle violence against women through the passage of about five bills that are currently before the National Assembly. This is coming following awareness programmes organized by women under the umbrella of vigil society organizations conducted yesterday at the Unity Fountain, Eagle Square, and other parts of Abuja. The Senate Committee Chairman on Women Affairs, Senator Ireti Kingibe, said it is the responsibility of everyone to join hands together and support the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Kingibe, who is also representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the red chamber, said the ugly trend of violence against women must stop.
Speaking to the press during a “Walkathon,” in solidarity with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Kingibe said women are the backbone of every nation.
Kingibe expressed optimism that the gender bills that suffered setbacks during the 9th Assembly would be considered by the 10th Assembly.
She added that legislators in the 10th assembly are unanimous in condemning any form of violence in the country, particularly, GBV.
“Without any exaggeration, women are the backbone of this country. We are the backbone of any country. We are the backbone of the home. Can we survive with a broken backbone?
“Nigeria is a country that is lagging in all our human development indices.
“Therefore, gender-based violence must stop, and how will it stop? It is going to stop when there is proper reporting, proper consequences, and collective responsibility, male and female. As you can see from the number of the organisations represented here, we have decided that women are going to unite to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Meanwhile, in Cross River state, Mrs Edoema Irom the Commissioner for Women Affairs, revealed that the state recorded 586 occurrences of GBV between January and October. Speaking in a statement in Calabar on Saturday at a news conference Mrs Irom said the statistics only included incidents reported to the government.
Speaking further, she said the ministry was putting institutions in place in the state’s 18 local government areas in partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations to report GBV instances in real-time in order to combat the epidemic.
“We have a Technical Working Group (TWG) with members drawn from the ministry and from the NGOs to find a way around the issue.
“The TWG meets quarterly to review efforts put in place to address the issue,’’ Mrs Irom added.