Women Urged to Speak Out Against Sexual, Physical Violence

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By Stephen Adeleye.

Women across the country have been urged to speak out against sexual and physical violence as they were not created to be brutalized, violated or treated less as human being.

Hon. (Mrs) Safiya Aliyu, the President, Upper Area Court II Lokoja, gave the advice in a paper he presentated at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kogi chapter in Lokoja on Monday.

The theme for the FIDA AGM is: ”Confronting Sexual And Physical Violence Against Women And Children: We Can Do Better”.

Aliyu defined Physical violence or abuse as any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person or animal by way of bodily contact, while Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, act to traffic a person or acts directed against a person’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim.

She stressed that sexual and physical violence were forms of gender based violence; a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality and continued to be one of the most notable Human Rights.

She, however, advised women to be careful not to trigger violence, at home, in school or work place, but to be peace makers and study the mood of their husbands, colleagues, bosses, acquaintances and others.

She further urged them to avoid saying the wrong word at the wrong time, and should not destroy their husbands or children for selfish reasons by peddling destructive falsehood against them.

Aliyu stressed that the society could do better in confronting sexual and physical violence against women and children by improving Justice System, education, encourage decent dressing, and parents should instill the fear of God in their children from childhood.

”In conclusion, the time has come for women to speak out against sexual and physical violence. We have FIDA to fight our cause, not just in Kogi State, but all over the world. Women are created to be loved and treated with respect.

”We are not created to be brutalized, violated, downtrodden or treated less a human being. Today more than ever before, we say no to sexual and physical violence,” she said.

She enjoined all stakeholders to join hands in speaking up against and preventing sexual and physical violence against women and children.

Also in his lecture, Barr. Abdullahi Zakari, the Director General, Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC), blamed women oppression on patriarchy.

Zakari equally opined that women empowerment would reduce violence against women and their children.

The key notes address at the occasion was delivered by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed SAN.

Earlier, the Chairperson of FIDA in Kogi, Ajuma Lilian Okolo, noted that the speakers at the occasion were carefully selected for their ability to effectively deal with the topic.

According to her, the AGM’s theme is very apt as it is germane to us as women and as women lawyers whose most potent weapon for the protection of women and children are legislations.

Ajuma solicited for the continued support of the relevant stakeholders to make the women federation more productive in promoting their objectives, while thanking all FIDANS who volunteered to work towards the success of this AGM.

The highlight of the programme is the official naming of FIDA Kogi patrons.

The Acting Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Henry Olusiyi, was decorated as the Grand Patron, while the AG and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mohammed SAN; and tge DG of PDCRC, Barr. Zakari were both decorated as patrons.

The Chief Judge, who responded on behalf of the recipients, pledged his continued support in whatever way possible for FIDA in Kogi.


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