THE NATIONAL President and members of Soroptimist International of Nigeria Association, have strongly condemned the recent escalation and surge in rape and other forms of violence against women and girls in the country.
The condemnation was contained in a release jointly signed by its National President, Mrs Bose Millan-Jack and Publicity Officer, Eboibi Lynda.
It decried the escalating incidences of rape against girls and women and the attendant increase in domestic violence against the female gender.
It viewed with serious concern and sadness the recentll sexual brutality that led to the gruesome murder of eleven year old Miss Favour Okechukwu in Ejigbo, Lagos, “whose life was cut short on the 30th of September 2020. Barely four months after, Miss Uwaila Omozua, 22 year old undergraduate of University of Benin was gang-raped and murdered in a church on the 22nd of May 2020.
“These heneous acts contradict the aims and objectives of Soroptimist International which include putting an end to all forms of violence which affect women and girls.
“Gender-based violence occurs in the family, in the general community, and through actions perpetrated or condoned by the State. Whatever form it takes, gender-based violence is deeply rooted in historical inequalities, power imbalances, and gender-based discrimination.
“In its entirety, gender based violence is a violation of human rights and affects the ability of women and the girl child to reach their full potentials and participate fairly in society”.
SINA therefore call on the government of Nigeria and all relevant authorities to act swiftly and stem this growing ugly tide by:
“Declaring a state of emergency on rape and other forms of violence against women and girls.
“Ratifying and implementing without reservation all international conventions and treaties which directly and indirectly address gender-based violence, and actively engage in accountability mechanisms
“Enacting or reforming, without delay, legislations to criminalise all forms of gender-based violence and
enforcing legislation through arrest and prosecution of perpetrators without fear or favour so as to deter potential perpetrators in future.
“Rejecting any differentiation between the public and private sphere as a justification for gender-
“Ensuring that front line responders have adequate resources and training to respond quickly to all incidents of gender-based violence.
“Recognising that gender-based violence poses significant financial costs to society and that
prevention of violence has real economic benefits;
“Providing support services to victims/survivors of
violence, including safe shelter, access to legal services, medical and psychological treatment
at no cost to them;
“Supporting programmes which educate girls and boys, at an appropriate age, about healthy and respectful relationships.
“Investing in initiatives to make public spaces including schools and other educational settings safe and free from gender-based violence;
“Raising communities awareness on the harmful effects that gender-based violence could have on all members of the society, and work to break the cycle of violence.
“Finally, we hereby conderm in totality all forms of gender-based violence and call on governments at all levels as well as coporate bodies and public spirited individuals to join hands in the fight against it”.