Ebonyi govt prosecutes 18 persons over Gender-based violence

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The Ebonyi Government said that it prosecuted 18 persons over Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state between January and November, 2022.

The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Socal Development, Mrs Deborah Okah, made the disclosure on Tuesday, at a news conference to commemorate the 2022 16-Day of Activism in Abakaliki.

Okah said some of the arraigned persons had been convicted of the crime.

According to her, with the amended Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in place, the commission will intensify efforts in its fight against offenders of GBV in the state.

She said the acts against women and girls remain most pervasive human rights violation around the world.

She reassured of the state government’s commitment towards fighting to halt all forms of violence against women and girls in the state.

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“Before now, cases of GBV were under reported in the state, but thanks to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for collaborating with foundations for resilient empowerment and development to establish a GBV situation room in the ministry which provides a GBV dash board for reporting cases, “Okah said.

She commended the wife of the governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi, for her efforts, which led to the enactment of the VAPP law in 2018 and further sought the amendment of some sections of the law for quick dispensation of justice.

She further appreciated Mrs Umahi for the establishment of GBV court for the purpose of hearing and determining matters on gender-based offences.

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She also commended the donor agency, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), for its assistance to the state government.

She, however, disclosed that the ministry and other key actors in the state have embarked on critical sensitisation of the public on consequences of GBV, like continuous capacity building and monitoring of GBV actors in the state to eliminate the acts.

She described the media as critical stakeholders for the struggle and fight against GBV in the state.

Mrs Marcelina Ibina, Director, Women Department in the ministry, and Mr Chukwuma Elom, Coordinator, Family Succor and Upliftment Foundation, appealed to stakeholders and the general public, not to relent in the fight against GBV.

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Mr Benedict Essong, Representative of the UNFPA in the state, said it remains committed to its 2030 development agenda of zero preventable maternal death, unmet need for family planning and zero GBV among other harmful practices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 16-day activism with the theme; “Unite! Activism To End violence Against Women and Girls, is running between Nov. 25 and Dec 10.

NAN also reports that the event had in attendance representatives of UNFPA, the media, ministries, family Succor, GBV taskforce and NAWOJ. (NAN)

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