The wife of Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi has stressed the need for more awareness and sensitization against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in schools, churches, markets and other public places in order to nip in the bud the nightmare of such heinous acts that threaten lives and dignity of women in the society.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi who spoke on the 16 days activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with the theme “Orange The World: End Violence Against Women Now!” described GBV as a global crisis that needed to be tackled decisively through provision of psychological and financial support to the victims and indigent women.
The GBV event coincided with the Enugu State women monthly prayer rally where the wife of the Governor in collaboration with the State Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development donated sewing machines to women who were trained for three months free of charge.
Speaking further on GBV, the Enugu Governor’s wife disclosed that more than 70 percent of women and girls have experienced one form of violence in their lives, especially those in states and communities where insecurity is on the increase, adding that “violence against women goes unreported, silenced by stigma, shame and fear of our justice system that does not favour women, especially the less privileged”.
According to her, “the right to human dignity in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also a fundamental right of women. The Constitution went ahead to state that no person shall be subjected to torture, inhumane or degrading treatment.
“Apart from our constitution, there are other GBV legislations in place to help curb and punish offenders, like the Child Rights Act, abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law (VAPP) which Enugu State has domesticated and inaugurated an action committee on GBV to monitor and implement all policies, programmes and laws relating to Gender-Based Violence”.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi disclosed that a report from the United Nations (UN) revealed that based on data from 13 countries since the COVID-19 pandemic, 2 in 3 women have experienced some form of violence, as against the previous statistics of 1 in 3 women.
She therefore called on the audience to join hands to end violence against women “as we join the international community and the rest of the world to celebrate those who are working hard to protect women and girls against violence and to defend their rights”.
Presenting the sewing machines to the jubilant beneficiaries, Mrs. Ugwuanyi stated that the empowerment programme was part of her plans to ensure that women and girls are self-sufficient, pointing out that wives of Nigeria Governors’ Forum have declared that women must no longer be raped while people keep quiet but should be protected.
She therefore urged the beneficiaries of the sewing machines to utilize the items to help themselves economically and socially, advising them to make use of internet facilities such as social media platforms to advertise and market their products.
In her speech, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Rt. Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his wife, Monica, for their special interest in the affairs and welfare of the women and children of the state including the vulnerable groups.
She hinted that the vulnerable groups in the society have benefited immensely from Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration and beseeched God to continue to bless and reward the governor and his wife abundantly.
The prayer session was conducted by the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Evangelist Mrs. Favour Ugwuanyi, who equally thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi and his wife for the commitment to the course of women and children in the state.
She asked God to continue to strengthen the governor and his wife in their frantic efforts to end violence against women and children in the state.
The wife of the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi, wives of other members of the State House of Assembly; wives of the 17 Local Government Council Chairmen and other stakeholders witnessed the event.