By Victoria Ojeme
Federal Government on Tuesday announced the rehabilitation of rape victims in country. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum made this announcement during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Federation of West Africa Freelance Journalist Association (FWAFJA) led by its President, Mr. Abayomi Runsewe at her office in Abuja ..
She said, the Ministry through its Agencies such as Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) among others, would partner with the association in giving relevant supports to victims of rape in areas of skills acquisition, capacity building, trade and investment activities.
She noted that men are also victims of rape especially young men, “even though they may not easily voice out like the women”, stressing that, the Ministry would give due attention to all of them in the aspects that relate to its mandates.
In her contribution, the Deputy Director, Gender in the Ministry, Mrs. Achinam Fidel explained to the delegation that the main focus of gender mainstreaming in the Ministry was to encourage and create an enabling environment for women to fully participate in the trade, industry and investment processes at all levels of government.
The Deputy Director pointed out that the recent 75billion Naira National MSMEs Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Scheme approved by President Mohammed Buhari to cushion the effect of Covid -19 pandemic on businesses has allocated 45% to Nigerian business women.
Earlier in his address, the President of the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association (FWAFJA), Mr. Abayomi Runsewe said that his association was committed to the rehabilitation of victims of rape in Nigeria.
According to him, ‘’Rape victims suffer a lot of psychological and social trauma as a result of the abuse. Many of the victims even go as far as committing suicide but with the help and emergence of the association, there is now hope and they are giving a voice to speak out’’
The President stated that the high increase of rape victims in Nigeria presented an urgent need for the association to operate and solicit the support of the Ministry in order to render better services.
He said that to further institutionalize this project, construction of a building has been planned for the operations of all activities relating to rape victims, while a movie titled ‘’RED ROSE” has been released to further express and buttress what the rape victims are passing through emotionally.
Highlight of the occasion was the honoring of the Minister as the International Ambassador of Anti-Rape Campaign by the West African Freelance Journalist Association (FWAFJA).