According to Aegis Widows Support Network and Women Aspire Empowerment Initiative, two civil society organizations, violence against women and girls continues to be one of the most common global issues.
This information was released during the Abuja-based 2022 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Human Rights Day.
Dr. (Mrs.) Bibiana C. Okereafor, the founder and president of AWSN and a widow, spoke at the event and stated that the campaign, which was launched in 1991 under the auspices of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, is focused on the prevention and eradication of violence against women and girls.
She claims that
The UN Secretary General has sponsored the CSO since 2008 as part of the UNITE by 2030 to End Violence Against Women movement, with yearly themes chosen, such as this year’s topic of “UNITE! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Dr. Okereafor regretted that violence against women is the most common type of crime worldwide while analyzing data on the topic.
The AWSN president also cited incidents from Anambra State, where a young woman was accused of having extramarital affairs and paraded naked; Mrs. Amarachi’s case, in which she allegedly suffered a beating and was held hostage by youths who accused her of practicing witchcraft; and the abandonment of widows in some regions of the nation.
“The most widespread violation of human rights worldwide continues to be violence against women and girls.
The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change crises, escalating international conflicts, and related economic instability, according to the speaker, have increased instances of gender violence and widowhood disparity.
“It is on record that many Igbo women who lost their spouses have been subjected to all types of physical and emotional torture in the name of cultural rituals since the beginning of 2022,” stated Okereafor.
The brutal murder of women leaders in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State recently and a similar incident in Kogi State in 2019 were also brought up, but she assured that the group would keep up the pressure on the 9th National Assembly to pass the bill on the prohibition of violence against people (VAPP) Act into law.
“Even though there is a significant gender gap in the 9th National Assembly, we urge the few female lawmakers to work to pass this proposed bill and have it implemented throughout the nation.
The AWSN founder continued, “Overall, widows in Nigeria need a breath of fresh air, but this can only be realized when the VAPP 2015 is amended and passed into Law in Nigeria.
Igwe insisted that “continuity is a way of life” and that “we must walk together and not kill ourselves.”
Several widows from various areas of the FCT and its suburbs attended the occasion.
Credit: IKenwa Charity