By Temitope Adegbola

Gender-based violence: Have no fear, women, girls urged

Women and girls have been advised to fear no fear and to also stand their grounds in the face of gender-based violence which according United Nations Population Fund, it’s one of the most prevalent human rights violation in the world that knows no social, economic or national boundaries.

The advice was given by The President/ Executive Director of Community Women’s Right Foundation, Comrade Alhaji Lateef Kayode Akinborode at the stakeholder’s dialogue and official launch of Community Mobilization and strengthening Network of Young Women on Women’s Leadership and Ending Violence against Women and Girls, held at the Palace of Oba Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Lagos.

Reaffirming the commitment of Women’s Right Foundation to eliminate and prevent gender-based violence against women and girls, Akinborode said gender-based violence is a global pandemic deeply rooted in gender inequality. He however noted that Gender Equality and continuous empowerment is critical to preventing the menace in the society.

“It is estimated that worldwide, 35 per cent of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives. In some countries, the figure is as high as 70 per cent. It is broadly recognized that male violence against women can increase when women are targeted for economic empowerment. There is also evidence that joint decision-making reduces violence (CWRF, 2012).

“Men who witnessed their fathers using violence against their mothers, and men who experienced some form of violence at home as children, are significantly more likely to report perpetrating intimate partner violence in their adult relationships,” he added.

Continuing, Comrade Akinborode reiterated that violence against women and girls suggest that certain characteristics of women, such as disability status, ethnicity, and some contextual factors, such as humanitarian crises, including conflict and post-conflict situations, may increase women’s vulnerability to violence.

Highlighting specific activities which his organization use to address some of the root cause of gender-based violence, he said, “We believe in empowering rural women economically to reduce their vulnerability to abuse and strengthen their independence by enabling them to have greater access to land, credit and other productive resources.

“We strengthen their representation in producer organizations and community decision-making bodies, promote cultural change at the household level with evidence from the field that showed that gender relations are improved and gender-based violence is decreased,” he added.

In his goodwill message, the king of Igbogbo kingdom, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali Emugoriade I, represented by the Odofin of Igbogbo kingdom, High Chief Tajudeen Onasanya, commended the effort and commitment of Community Women’s Rights Foundation team on their quest to reduce cases of domestic violence to the barest minimum in Ikorodu.

He pledged the support of the Oba in Council to work hand in hand with all other stakeholders to put an end to the menace in the community.

Representing Faith Based Organisations, Bishop Oguntuase, CAN President Ikorodu advised women to create time to participate in every activity geared towards the development of their community, saying that the issue of broken home is a challenge and one of the causes of societal ills.

Igbogbo Divisional Police Officer, CSP Aderemi Balogun represented by SUPOL Okanlawon of the FSU Ikorodu Police Station condemned the growing trend of broken homes in Ikorodu, implored women to take care of their children and also embrace western education and skill acquisition.

Responding at the community dialogue, participants comprises of community leaders, women leaders, youth leaders, Community Development Associations, Faith based Organisations among others, stated some of the problems confronting women and girl child which they said was not limited to phobia, sex education, boldness to cry out, stigmatization, just to mention a few.

They enjoined law enforcement agencies to pay attention to the way issues of violence are being handled so that women who have issues of violence reported will have assurance of getting justice.

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