By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has expressed concern over the astronomical increase in incidences of sexual and other forms of gender-based Violence in Nigeria.
The Foundation therefore, gave recommendations on stopping rape, which included among others, economic empowerment of women and adolescent girls in order to reduce their vulnerability to gender based violence and increased advocacy to promote positive behavioral change. in incidences of sexual and other forms of gender-based Violence, GDV, in Nigeria.
The Foundation therefore, gave recommendations on how to end the menace which included among others, empowerment of women and adolescent girls in order to reduce their vulnerability to gender based violence and Increased advocacy, to promote positive behavioral change.
Managing Director/CEO of the foundation, Engr. Abubakar Gambo Umar said in a statement on Monday, that it was disheartening that gender based violence, especially against women and the girl child, were being increasingly reported.
“Of particular concern are the issues of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation, domestic violence against female spouses, marital rape, trafficking or young adolescent girls, hawking, baby factory and female genital mutilation. In most cases victims suffer from unwanted pregnancies, VVE, HIV or some other sexually transmitted infections” he said
The Foundation noted that oftentimes, those who suffer rape and other gender based violence are under age and young teenage children whose innocence, weaknesses and vulnerabilities are being exploited by more powerful, stronger predators.
Equally disturbing is the fact that some perpetrators of the rape and other GBV are well known to the victims. Rape cases are grossly under reported.
In most cases the victims would not expose their molesters for fear of even more severe consequences. It has been reported that by age of 15, nearly 3 in 10 female have experienced physical, mental or sexual assault on a women. The situation of young female domestic workers is even more pathetic as they neither have any one to report to, or to stand for them.
The Foundation further observed that rape culture is continually encouraged by society’s attitude of victims blaming. Placing the onus of proof of rape on the victim is daunting enough. Rape is a crime that should not be legitimized by any situations
The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation therefore, gave recommendations on ending rape and other GBV which included, but not limited to empowerment of women and adolescent girls in order to reduce their vulnerability to gender based violence, Increased Advocacy, to promote positive behavioral change.
“Gender Inclusiveness, to increase women participation in socio economic and political activities in their communities.”
“Medical Attention to victims of rape and GBV should be provided with free medical and reproductive health Services.”
“Increase in government funding of governmental and non governmental bodies to meet the challenges posed by the spike in case of rape and other GBV.
“Strengthen existing laws; to deal justly and fairly with rape cases and involvement of community leaders,, and educational Institutions to advocate and create awareness on rape and its implications.”
The foundation said rape is a crime that must to be treated with the seriousness that it deserves.
“Rape and other GBV have direct negative bearing on the economic development of the women, and by extension, the nation. Rape victims who tend to be silent need to be encouraged to speak out. Law enforcement officers, especially police should be enjoined to treat rape cases with the seriousness that they deserve while prosecution of rape cases should be handled in such a manner as to protect the integrity of the victims.”
“The Foundation calls on all the stakeholders to rise up against the menace of rape in the nation.
Our position on rape issues and other GRV is being sent to all stakeholders,” they said.