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Edo govt, FG strengthen collaboration to end gender-based violence

19 Dec 2023

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Barbara Nekpen Osobajo; Representative of the Director General, National Centre for Women Development, Princess Jummai Idonije, and Edo State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Christabel Omoh Ekwu, at the stakeholders sensitisation programme, held at John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) in Benin City.

The Edo State Government has assured that it will strengthen collaboration with the Federal Government to check the incidence of gender-based violence in the State, noting that necessary laws have been enacted to punish persons found culpable of the dastardly act.

Representative of the Edo State Governor and Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon Mrs. Christabel Omoh Ekwu, said the State Government will leave no stone unturned in ending gender-based violence in the State.

She made this known at a stakeholders’ sensitisation programme, in partnership with the Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development under the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The programme which had participants from traditional and religious institutions had the theme, “Year 2023: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.”

The Commissioner, in her remarks, said, “Today, I stand before you to address a pervasive issue that continues to plague our society: gender-based violence. It is a harsh reality that many individuals, predominantly women and girls, face violence simply because of their gender. This needs to change, and it is our collective responsibility to end gender-based violence once and for all.

“To end gender-based violence, we must first acknowledge its existence and understand the deep-rooted societal norms and attitudes that contribute to this problem. These attitudes perpetuate harmful stereotypes, reinforce power imbalances, and normalize violence against women and girls. We must challenge these beliefs and work towards creating a culture of respect and equality.”

She added, “Education and awareness are vital in combating gender-based violence. We need comprehensive and age-appropriate education programmes that teach young people about healthy relationships, consent, and respect for one another. By instilling these values early on, we can prevent violence before it even occurs.”

In her remarks, the representative of the Director General, Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development and Director of Research for the Centre, Princess Jummia Idonijie congratulated the Edo State Government for the launch of its gender policy, domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

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