New Telegraph

16 Days Activism: Agbazue Calls For Immediate Action To End Gender-Based Violence

Abia-born businesswoman and All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart, Dr Mrs Lilian Chinasa Agbazue, popularly known as Igolo Southeast has advocated for urgent action to end all forms of abuse and violations against women and girls in the country.

Dr Agbazue made the call in her advocacy message to commemorate this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence themed: “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

She emphasized the need for a more intensive campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has on women and young girls. She also urged communities, leaders, law enforcement agencies, and the judiciary to work tirelessly to eradicate the resurgence of these vices, which continue to exist in society despite being illegal.

The former Member of Federal Public Works bemoaned the fact that women and girls continue to face various forms of violence despite the 1999 Constitution’s modified provisions and various laws, including the VAPP Law, which guarantees the protection and enforcement of the rights of all persons.

Citing the current statistics where rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriages remain a threat to society., Dr. Lilian Agbazue said immediate action is required by all state and non-state actors to end SGBV.

She applauded the efforts of stakeholders who are fighting violence against women and girls and tasked the government at all levels, especially the states, to pass laws that would lower the prevalence of rights violations against women in the country.

She charged women to play active roles in governance, emphasising that they should vote for women to hold political office, particularly in the state House of Assembly, so that they may contribute to the formulation of policies that will improve the welfare of women in society.

Criticizing the sheer number and makeup of women in Houses of Assembly across the nation, Dr. Lilian Agbazue pointed out that many states only had one representative, which made it challenging to enact laws that favour women.

“I won’t pretend that violence against women and girls will stop today, but we must take decisive action to stop the threat. Every year, we cry out against the violence against women in our society, particularly in Abia state and the nation as a whole, but we don’t see any change.

“A woman is abused in one way or another every hour of the day, whether it be in a deep and intense way, in little ways, or socially, morally, or physically in urban areas, at home, or in the workplace. While some people die in the process, the majority of survivors suffer from severe psychological trauma from which they may never fully recover. Even if they survive, they will never be the same.

“Now is the moment to act, with strong demands and resolute support from decision-makers to create a legislative and social framework that promotes and protects the well-being and self-worth of women and girls across the country,” Dr. Lilian Agbazue emphasised.

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