By Victor Udu
The Cross River State Government has called for effective collaboration from key stakeholders to bolster ongoing efforts meant to curtail the alarming rate of Gender Violence, especially against women and the girl child around the state.
The State Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs, Hon. Edema Irom, made the call while addressing stakeholders during a media parley to flag off this year’s 16 Days of Activism in the state.
Irom, who expressed dismay over the increasing level of violence against women and the girl child stressed that such synergy has become imperative to guarantee optimum success in the campaign to checkmate the monster
She posited, “Towards this end, the Cross River state government demands an end to child marriage, female genital mutilation, intersex genital mutilation, stigmatisation and other cultural-based discriminatory practices against women and girls”
She stated that the 16 Days of Activism is a yearly event which is held from 25 Nov to 10 December annually to commemorate the murder of 16 women from the Dominican Republic killed for their Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
She appealed for the prompt passage of the five gender bills before the National Assembly to beef up existing legislation enacted to stem the tide of GBV.
The Commissioner also called for the timely allocation of budgetary provisions for the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition VAPP, Child’s Law, and Disability Rights Law, as well as an improvement in the provision of health services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and rights holders.
While demanding for speedy investigation of all cases of VAWG, as well as support, Irom assured that the sex offenders register be made functional and accessible to the public to avoid shielding convicts.
She applauded the judiciary for creating additional family courts to accelerate the hearing of GBV cases stressing that more was still needed as her Ministry gears up efforts in the battle.
The 16 days of Activism are also used to mark World AIDS Day on December 1, International Day for Persons with Disability on 3rd December, and ends on December 10 with International Human Rights Day.
The event featured goodwill messages from Stakeholders notable GPI, FIDA, NHRC, UNHCR, Coalition for Gender Justice, BRCI, CCAPI, ECEWS, and the NUJ.