By Justina Auta
Some women groups in the FCT on Saturday urged Federal Government to declare state of emergency on Gender Based Violence (GBV) to end all forms of abuse meted on women and girls.
Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Convener of Womanifesto and Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) made the call in Abuja.
Akiyode-Afolabi, who represented the groups, said this while presenting agreements reached after a three-day national dialogue held in Abuja titled: “Womanifesto.”
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that various women groups, religious bodies, NGOs and others marched from the National Centre for Women Development to Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
The exercise took place after a three-day conference in Abuja on Nov. 29 to make their demands on women’s rights.
The director said women in the diaspora and in Nigeria were concerned about increased cases of abuse against women and girls.
She said that “the increase called for a womanifesto conference, which would provide platform toward addressing the menace.”
According to her, declaration of state of emergency on GBV will help women to speak out so that they can receive assistance.
She said “it would also help toward increasing budgetary allocation of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, as well as assist in reducing violence on women and girls.
“We demand that state of emergency be declared on violence against women in Nigeria.
“We are also concerned about the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and demand that a portion of the security sector funds be committed to providing psychosocial support to women.”
Akiyode-Afolabi called on the ministry to collaborate with relevant organisations to establish women enforcement and monitoring groups at both national and state levels.
She said that the effort would aide in addressing challenges faced by women and the girl-child.
The convener, while demanding for reform of the constitution, condemned the killing of PDP Women Leader in Kogi, Mrs Salome Abuh.
She called on government to ensure all perpetrators of the act were prosecuted and ensure justice was served.
She explained that “in the past three days, we gathered at the national centre of women development to deliberate on the issue of women.
“In those three days, women from all walks of life looked at five issues; violence against women, women political participation, women peace and security, sexual and reproductive right, women and poverty.
“This demand is a summary of the key agreement of women and girls at that meeting. It represents our aspirations, which we are submitting to government.
Responding, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, assured the women that government was already working toward prosecuting culprits of GBV.
She said “the president, the vice president, and wife of the president are fully committed to this issue and we all condemn violence against women in its totality.”
NAN reports that various women groups, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) walked with placards reading “Stop Killing Nigerian Women,” “Expose and Prosecute Perpetrators,” “Stop Violence Against Women” and others.