Nigerian Women Feminist (NFF) forum has called on government, schools and stakeholders to put stiffer measures in place to stem the rising cases of sexual violence and discrimination against women.
A gender expert, Iheoma Obibi in an interview with Daily Sun said women have unjustly been at the receiving end of discrimination and gender-based violence, due to wrong held assumptions which ought to change.
According to her, the change has became necessary because in the last four months, there has been an increase in sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the country.
Her group is therefore calling on the Federal Government and partners to adopt public policies that protect and enhance the rights of women and girls, to enable for a more developed society.
They however noted that through the efforts of women led feminist organizations in Nigeria, a “state of emergency” on SGBV was declared by the Nigerian Governors Forum, and supported by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The declaration led to the establishment of the recently inaugurated presidential inter-ministerial committee on SGBV.
“There may not have been an articulate word for their activism (it’s a relatively new term) but nonetheless, many of our female ancestor’s squared off to colonial rulers, patriarchy and a host of other adversaries,” she said. “During Nigeria’s Second Republic (1979 – 1983), all Nigerian women were enfranchised to participate in the electoral process.
“Currently in Nigeria, Nigerian feminism has played a critical and key role in advancing the rights of women by constantly interrogating the patriarchal system and its effect on the family, institutions, and accepted societal norms.It has provided the space to interrogate the intersectionality of age, class, education, locality and who has access to reproduction sexual health services, privilege, access to power and what that means.
“The impact of feminist academic research and activism in Nigeria has been constructive and far reaching, we are having lively discussions centered around sexual violence and the reasons why it is happening, what are the solutions and what public policies we need to have to enable society treat women and girls better. Additional discourse and activities have also centered on confronting and questioning norms and aged old traditions that strive to reinforce patriarchy.”