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Women affairs commissioner speaks on increase in gbv in Ebonyi state

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Ruth Oginyi

Chinwe Okah, the Ebonyi State commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development has decried the increase in violence against women and girls in the state.

Okah said it was disheartening that despite the continuous awareness creation and other measures applied to end violence against women and girls in the State, it persists.

The Commissioner stated this at a press briefing to mark the year 2022 16 Days activism on the elimination of gender-based violence against women and girls.

She said violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation around the world.

“It is disheartening that despite the continuous awareness creation and other measures applied to end violence against women and girls in the State, it still persists. Violence against women and girls remains the most pervasive human rights violation around the World.

“More than 1 in every 3 women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime. In 2021, nearly 1 in 5 women aged 20- 24 were married before turning 18. Less than 40 percent of women who experience violence seek help of any sort.

“Already heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, its prevalence is now being further increased by the intersecting crisis of climate change, global conflict and economic instability. Before now, the cases of GBV were under-reported in the State. Special thanks to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Abuja for collaborating with Foundation for Resilient Empowerment and Development (FRED) to establish a GBV Situation Room in the Ministry which provides a GBV Dash Board for reporting GBV cases.

“The GBV Dash Board reveals that between January 2021 and October 2022, the State has uploaded 2019 SGBV cases making the State to rank first in the committee of States reporting GBV to the National GBV Dash Board of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

“The 5 highest reported types of violence in the Dash Board are; physical abuse – 660; child abuse and neglect 526; denial of resources 277; emotional abuse 257 and Defilement 227. Against this background, Her Excellency has in great measures supported the fight against violence against women and girls in the State. She has through her persistent pressure and efforts led the enactment of the VAPP Law in the State in 2018. And to ensure quick dispensation of justice, she went further to seek for the amendment of 5 sections of the Law, 2 of which are sections 10 “that High and Magistrate Courts of the State will have jurisdiction to hear and grant application” and section 14 “establishment of GBV Court for the purpose of hearing and determining matters on gender-based of offenses the State.'” The amended VAPP Law was unveiled on the inception on the 25″ November, 2022 which marked the beginning of the commemoration of the 2022 16 Days of Activism in the State. Her Excellency has also done great in supporting the Survivor’s access to justice; empowerment; free access to Fistula repairs from the NOFIC including the repatriation and re-integration of Fistula Clients”.

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