The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for global alliance and enactment of responsive legislation to stem the tide of gender-based violence and trafficking of girls to assure better future for girls and women.
Governor Obaseki said this in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women marked every November 25 by the United Nations.
The governor said that the day affords policymakers and other stakeholders to reflect on lingering attitudes and behaviours that give rise to domestic, sexual, and workplace violence as well as obnoxious cultural norms that have placed women in a disadvantaged position.
Stressing that this year’s theme “Leave No One Behind” speaks to the growing need to pursue programmes, intensify efforts and sustain funding to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence, he said, “Laws need to be passed, existing legislations need to be strengthened and enforced to end violence against women and to curb the tendency that lead to these actions. As government is pushing for this, the people must also know that there are attitudes and behaviours that need to be changed.”
He said that it was imperative to erect structures and provide incentives to tackle deep-rooted practices that give rise to violence against women, noting “The narrative that we ought to drive – and which has worked elsewhere – is that women do matter. Gender-based violence undermines humanity and puts a question on the sanity of perpetrators of these vice. The menace calls for global action.”
“Much as this is a global challenge, we make bold to say that we are faced with a peculiar case in Edo State, where trafficking in person, especially women is a growing challenge.
The victims are tortured in most cases. However, as a government, we have taken decisive steps to stem this tide.
“We have not only sought and are receiving international support to address the challenge; we have also taken the matter to the Edo State House of Assembly to enact a law that would consolidate the gains we have recorded.
“The state government has a standing taskforce that oversees the reduction of instances of illegal migration and human trafficking. We are also rehabilitating victims and have made it a policy not to condemn those who were deceived by perpetrators of gender-based violence,” Obaseki said.
He added that the state government was working to create equal opportunities for women to ensure that they are not discriminated against, noting, “It is important to open up the space for women to be the best they can be, just as their male counterpart. This can be done by pushing for them to take up more opportunities and in doing that, ensuring that they are protected from attacks.”