December 3, 2015

Enugu women demonstrate over sexual abuse

Enugu women demonstrate over sexual abuse

Police officers holds arms to block supporters of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from marching on the president’s official residence in Abuja on October 14, 2014. Some 276 girls were seized from their dormitories at the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, on the night of April 14. AFP PHOTO

By Emeka Mamah

EnuguA coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, including the Women Aid Collective, WACOL and Tamar Sarc, has raised alarm over what it described as a sharp increase of sexual abuse against women in Enugu State.

The coalition said that sexual molesters in Enugu “do not know the difference in the age of women as they abuse young girls ranging from five to 10 years.”

The Executive Director, WACOL, Mrs. Joy Ezeilo, who led some members of Tamar Sarc, National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, to a rally at the Enugu State House of Assembly, as part of the ceremony marking the UN Day on Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, said that 400 cases of sexual abuse against women were recorded between March last year and now.

Ezeilo, who condemned the trend, said the women were in the House to pressurise members to enact a law against violence against women and girls in the state.

“We stand against sexual violence.  We want you to make a law that would punish those that contravene the law,” Ezeilo said, pointing out that the law had already been enacted by the National Assembly  should be replicated in Enugu.

She further said that the women were acting in collaboration with DFID and Justice for All Programme, J4A, urging the state government to set aside huge sums of money to fight both sexual abuse and assault in the state.