By Frederick Peters, KADUNA
NEWSDAILYNIGERIA- The Interfaith Forum of Muslim and Christian Women’s Associations popularly known as the Women’s Interfaith council,( WIC) has ended her 16 days activism by raising their voices to end all forms of violence against women and girls in Kaduna and Nigeria.
This was disclosed at a One Day Workshop held on Wednesday 8th December, 2021 at Command Guest House, Kaduna, tagged “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!” which climaxed the 16 days sensitization engagements with various stakeholders across the state, aimed at supporting the United Nations, (UN) campaign to end violence against women and girls the world over.
Speaking on essence of the event, WIC Executive Director, Rev. Sr. Veronica Onyeanisi, OLA, said it was cogent hosting the workshop as part of the 16 days activism on the elimination of gender based violence, ” it’s very important to us, because in Nigeria women and the girl child have been affected and as a women led organization it has to champion it to tell the world what’s happening to us.
” We started the campaign on the 25th of November, by carrying out radio programmes on several stations in Kaduna to conscientise people on issues of gender based violence and how the will participate in curbing those challenges in our society ”
According to her, the impact of this advocacy visits and engagements with key stakeholders has been unprecedented, ” we visited Mosques and churches, we visited traditional leaders, such as the Emir of Jema’a and the District Head of Kajuru and here today, we have many of them, because they have to act as positive influencers in their communities to ensure that gender based violence is ended.
” We need these leaders to do something and we need individuals to act, to voice out; because it’s happening in our homes, work places and it’s happening everywhere, we need to voice out, we need to raise our voices as women, we won’t wait for others to do for us, we need to do it ourselves to ensure that gender based violence ends today ” she stressed.
While disclosing a level of collaboration with the media and government in creating awareness to the citizenry on the implications of gender based violence, said in Kaduna state punishment for offense such as incest attracts 5 years jail term, with out option of fine, adding that ” we should not cover bad things, we should not say it is religion, it is not, let’s say criminality is criminality, irrespective of who did it” she added.
On her part, a seasoned educationist and expert on issues of Human trafficking, Rev. Sr. Monica Onwunali OLA, while speaking on ‘ Trafficking and Gender based violence” said it simply means buying and selling of women and girls noting that there’s a correlation between the two as over 80% of victims are mostly women and girls, who are trafficked to foreign lands into sex slavery, rape, prostitution, physical and mental abuses and lots more.
According to her, every one million women and girls fall victims of human trafficking adding that, there are no boundaries as communities and every one is vulnerable, as situations faced by victims include stress, psychological trauma, leading to deaths, ” it is an abnormal situation. Human trafficking is one of the worst violence against women and girls and any violence against women is against all, since we are their mothers and wives ” she stressed.
Earlier, the Director citizens rights, Ministry of Justice, Kaduna, Hajia Hajara Jibrin Abubakar, while presenting a paper on ” Orange the world: End violence against women and girls now ; Muslim perspective, said that Nigeria is one of the least safe places for women in the world.
She noted that a lot of women keep quite or lie about it when they are physically violated for fear that their husbands will be reprimanded and nobody will care for the family.
Similarly, an activist and member of WIC, Chief Mrs. Anna Avong, who presented a paper ” Orange the world” End violence against women and girls now” Christian perspective, said ” 0range the world” simply means change the world, speak for the women and girls against violence, adding that, all over the world women are faced with all kinds of discriminations, they suffer psychological, physical, financial and emotional violence among others.
Speaking further she said God created both Man and woman in His image and likeness and so we are expected to love each other, Christ Himself gave us a message that we should love one another adding that if there’s sincere love of one another violence will not take place, so my paper in summary tried to speak against all the ills ongoing against women and the girl child ” while noting that gender discrimination shouldn’t exists among true Christians.
On her part, the WIC Christian Coordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Abuks, while thanking God for a successful 16 days activism in the state, towards ending violence against women and girls, expressed satisfaction with the large turnout at the workshop being the grandfinale saying, ” with the crowd and people you have seen on board, it shows that we are getting to the root, because this is creating awareness
“We are talking to Mothers, to Fathers, to our youths and talking to our children on how to end violence on women and girls, they women are doing their best but their best is yet enough, but with what we heard today, from the speakers both from the Islamic and Christian perspectives am sure that we are getting closer to the root of the matter” she averred.
In the same vein, her Muslim counterpart, Daharatu Ahmed Aliyu, said as a mother and leader her passionate call on a day like this ” is to tell the world, to tell the society to stop discrimination, to stop stigmatization against women and girls and to support where women and girls will be taken to greater heights and to stop gender based violence against women and girls ” she stressed.
" alt="" />