An Abuja-based NGO, Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), says violence against
women, girls and children is a crime against humanity and antithetical to social equality.
The group’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms May Ikokwu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria
in Abuja on Thursday as the world launch events to mark 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The 16 Days of Activism Against GBV is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
The campaign runs every year from Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women,
to Dec. 10, Human Rights Day, is the longest-running women’s rights campaign in the world.
Ikokwu, therefore, said it was time to end physical and financial violence against women in the country.
The executive director, who decried acts of violence and sexual abuse of women, urged stakeholders to unite against
violence to women by breaking cultural inhibitions militating against the safety, freedom and empowerment of women.
She explained that some cultures had provided security and freedom for women, but were not being complied with by many.
She cited the Igbo culture, which she said had always respected the role of women in the society, noting that “financial violence
against women whereby women and widows are cut off from inheritance has been abolished by law, but the practice still persist.”
The SOHI boss stressed the need to give women maximum protection and confidence, not for just gender equality but for national development.
She said that violence or brutality against women was indirect violence against a mother, a wife and a sister and inimical to development.
NAN reports that since the launch of the 16 days of activism against GBV by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute
at Rutgers University in 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership had been leading the initiative.
The 16 days campaign initially aimed to connect GBV and human rights by falling during a period with several human rights advocacy days
such as the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on Nov. 29 and the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
However, GBV occurs in developing and developed countries alike and more than a third of women (35%) experience physical and
or sexual violence, and such violence impacts one in three women in their lifetime, according to the World Bank.
Consequently, failure to protect women threatens future generations, as children who grow up in households with violence
are more likely to experience or perpetuate violence.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu