The Niger State chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has called on non-governmental and faith-based organizations to support the plight of women in curbing gender-based violence in Nigeria.
Speaking, as part of activities to mark the 16-day activism against gender-based violence, at Women Day College, Minna, the state chairperson of NAWOJ, Hajiya Rabi Bello, decried the ill-treatment meted on women in the society.
Addressing the students, Bello said the visit was to create awareness and to sensitize the women on how to participate in bringing an end to various forms of abuse on women within their communities.
“This school was established for married women and to respond to the needs of women who were thrown out of school as a result of either early marriage or pregnancy at infancy or early withdrawal from school,” she said.
She listed cultural hindrances, stigmatisation and lack of support as among some of the factors that are preventing victims of violence from speaking up.
According to her, the sensitization provided the opportunity to enlighten the women on how to seek justice and medical care In case of any form of abuse.
The chairperson further lamented that though women play tremendous roles in Nigeria’s politics both during campaigns and elections, yet they do not benefit from the services of the politicians.
Also, Ms Dorothy Nuhu Aken’onva, the Executive Director of the International Center for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, urged the women to speak out at all times when their rights are being trampled upon.
She maintained, “we are here to sensitize you on Gender-based violence and the reasons for marking the International Day on Violence against Women. We want to empower you to speak out when there is an infringement on your rights as women, and also pass down the same to your children to protect them against gender-based violence”.
Responding, the Vice-Principal, Academics, of the school, Hajiya Ayeshatu Sadiq Katako thanked the NAWOJ team for the visit, while noting the need for more of such enlightenment to get rid of the menace.