By Vivian Onyebukwa
The women wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos State branch, joined millions of people all over the world during this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, to talk against the pervasive violations of human rights particularly against female children.
Speaking during the event, the president of the women group, Violet Uchenna Obiora said that women are not only victims of gender inequality but other injustices such as victimization, assault, rape, discrimination, segregation, marginalization and oppression. Others according to her include exploitation, abuse, violence, inhuman values, trafficking, sexual harassment, to mention but a few. “Today, we stand for support and justice for every girl or woman that is or was abused, raped and assaulted. We stand to give hope and raise fighters like us and together we stand to speak out, saying enough is enough.
Enough to those wicked act against girl children and women. Enough of sexual harassment and rape”. She used this medium to call everybody for the support of all the women in this fight irrespective of their race, colour, location, and belief.
The president admonished for more creation of awareness on rape, and advised Lagos State government to implement the law against rape.
This international day for the girl child, was created based on the sustainable development goals of United Nations Women for the purposes of achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
It is also to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres. However, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Women decided to focus on issues of sexual violence and harassment and how the society should continue to expose these crimes on usually the most vulnerable members of the society. “Consequently, the most pervasive form of human right abuse is violence against women. This violence includes domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, forced prostitution, female genital mutilation, murder. It cuts across socio-economic lifes and it’s so deeply embedded in tradition that millions of women consider violence their lost in life”, Obiora said.
The National Secretary, Worldwide, women wing, and the former women leader, Ada Ofoegbu, decried the level of abuse meted on women. “Women have been abused a lot in Nigeria. If we do the documentation, you will see the number of women abused so far”. She thanked UNESCO for establishing the day, and advised victims to speak out. “Don’t be ashamed, report. If Police would ridicule you, look for a human right establishment and make a report to take it up.
Also speaking, the financial Secretary/Acting Secretary of the group, Ogele Eucharia advised victims to report and not be afraid. “If you notice any form of sexual molestation, report to your mother, don’t be afraid’. She emphasised on equality between boys and girls and warned on discrimination against the girl child.
Hope Ezeanioma, who is the Vice President, Enugu, Surulere branch, said that women have risen up to fight this injustice. She also advised mother’s to protect their girl child. Women Leader, Badagry Central, Catherine Ezemuokwe, while speaking, advised mother’s to be the eyes and ears of their girl children. “Don’t shut them up. Don’t kill the faith and strength to fight”.