Abia-born businesswoman and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Mrs. Lilian Agbazue, popularly known as Igolo Southeast, has called for urgent action to end all forms of abuse and violations against women and girls in the country.
Agbazue made the call on Friday 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,” emphasizing the need for a more intensive campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) had on women and young girls in the country.
The former member, Federal Public Works, while bemoaning the fact that women and girls continued to face various forms of violence in spite of the 1999 Constitution’s modified provisions and various laws, including the VAPP Law, which guarantees the protection and enforcement of rights of all persons, urged communities, leaders, law enforcement agencies, and the judiciary to work tirelessly to eradicate the resurgence of these vices, which continued to exist in society despite being illegal.
Citing the current statistics where rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriages remained a threat to society, Dr. Agbazue said immediate action was required by all state and non-state actors to end SGBV.
She, however, applauded the efforts of stakeholders who stood against violence against women and girls, urging government at all levels, especially the states, to pass laws that would lower the prevalence of rights violations against women in the country.
Besides, she charged women to play active roles in governance, emphasizing that they should vote for women to hold political office, particularly in the state House of Assembly, to enable them to contribute to the formulation of policies that would improve the welfare of women in society.
This was just as she frowned at the sheer number and makeup of women in Houses of Assembly across the nation, pointing 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 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, 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. Agbazue demanded.
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