The Cross River State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Edoema Irom, who recently Flagged off activities marking the 2023, 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) has urged the media to publicize existing legislation for public knowledge as well as prosecuted cases of GBV.
She particular called on the security agencies and other MDAs saddle with the response and prevention activities to respond more swiftly to cases of sexual and GBV in the state.
Mrs Irom, alleged that more than one or three females experience GBV in their life time adding that more than five women and girls are killed every hour by someone in their families.
The Commissioner stated this on Saturday while briefing journalists on the activities to mark the 2023, 16 days of activism against GBV with the theme: “Unite, Invest to end violence against Women and Girls” in Calabar, south south Nigeria.
She said less than 40% of women who experience GBV seek help from any source hence, it was with a sense of duty and responsibility that she addressed the public on this journey that they have jointly undertaken as a people with the united purpose.
In her address, the Commissioner said the 16 days of activism is a yearly event which begins on the 25th November and ends on the 10th of December 2023.
“It was set aside by the United Nations to commemorates the brutal murder of 16 women from the Dominican Republic who were killed for their activism against GBV,” she told the Journalists.
She added: “It also marks the world’s day for HIV prevention on the 1st of December with international day for persons with disabilities and end on 10th of December which is international human rights day.”
“Today we honour those who have fought and sometimes paid the ultimate price to end violence against women and girls the world over Including Nigeria and Cross River State in particular.”
“We honour them because they paid the noble price for some of the privileges and freedom women and Girls are now enjoying today,” she stated.
While she explained that the GBV against women and girls remain the most perversive human rights violation around the world, Mrs Irom noted that is now being increased by the crisis of climate change, global conflict and economic instability.
According to her, Women and Girls are displaced , the constant increase in cases of sexual and female genital mutilation are on the rise.
“Yet, there are still more freedoms we long for, looking at the gender inequality and discrimination suffer by women and girls with disabilities, stigma and rejection suffer by women and girls living with HIV/AIDS,” she said.
She also disclosed that the Cross River State Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with GBV response and prevention actors in the state have a line up of activities within this 16 days to advocate for an end to all forms of GBV.
“We are calling for support for passage of the five gender bills at the National Assembly by our national legislators,” she continued. “The provision and the release of funds at the state level, for the implementation of the the law, the child’s right law, disability right law, and other laws that prohibit violence against Women and Girls in the state.”
“We call for the sexual offense register domicile in the citizens right department of the state ministry of justice to be made functional and assessible.”
“We call for speedy dispensation of cases of violence against Women and Girls in our Courts.”
“We call on the traditional rulers and institutions to ensure harmful traditional practices do not take place in their communities.”
Truth Live News reports that she used the occasion to thank the government for ensuring that certain legal provision such as the Violence against person provision and disability right law are in place.
While also commending Governmment especially the judiciary for having the designated and additionally family courts for hearing of cases, Irom said this was a good start and that they are very grateful. But just like the Oliver twist they wish to ask for more.