ActionAid Nigeria has called on Kogi State House of Assembly to embark on speedy passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibitions (VAPP) bill in order to end all forms of violence against women and girl child in the state.
The Project Coordinator, System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) Project, ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Anicetus Atakpu made the call on Saturday during women conference/summit on preventing violent extremism in Koton-Karfe, Kogi local government area.
Atakpu disclosed that the conference was aimed at highlighting the preventive measures for gender-based violence, saying the VAPP bill has since gone through public hearing, noting that the passage of the bill would enable government and relevant stakeholders in the fight against violence to carry out their responsibilities.
According to him , the one-day conference/summit was part of activities of ActionAid to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day on preventing violent extremism
through (SARVE II) Project.
He pointed out that the women conference which was organised by ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID) and funded by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF) held simultaneously in 12 communities in six LGAs ( Lokoja, Okehi, Adavi, Ankpa, Igalamela-Odolu, Kogi-Koto) in Kogi state.
The project coordinator, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic, triggered a “shadow pandemic” with alarming reports on domestic and gender-based violence across the country including Kogi state, expressing optimism that the women conference would presents an opportunity to engage and sensitise community women on their roles in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
The Executive Director, Challenged Parenthood Initiatives who doubled as the resource persons at the occasion , Eunice Agbogun while delivering a lecture on ‘prevention and responding to gender base violence’ lamented that one in every three women in the world, and 35 per cent of women all over the world have experienced gender based violence, noting that 7 per cent women discovered to have been sexually assulted, describing the statistics as scary , worrisome and unfortunate.
She advised women to make the education and empowering the girl child a priority, pointing out that until the religious, community, and opinion leaders take a stand against preventing violent extremisim, the future looks bleak, as the statistics of gender based violence is constantly on the increase like wild fire.
According to her, gender based violence is a serious problem that affects the dignity of the girl child, said aside causing pregnancy, it impacts negatively on the educational development of the girl child, cautioned mother’s against hiding under the shame of not wanting to report gender based violence to desist, saying that the time to speak up and protect the girl child cannot be downplayed.
One of the women leader Mrs Usmau Gogo in her remark, commended ActionAid Nigeria for the conference and assured that the lesson gain from the programme would be utilize to prevent violence against women in the area.
She advised women to always advise the female children on the mode of their dressing , saying at time provocative dressing pave ways for sexual violence against girls.