By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Permanent Secretary Kaduna State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, (MWASD), Umma Ahmed said 4.6 per cent of girls in Kaduna state have experienced sexual violence, the highest in the north-west region.
She stated this at a one-day meeting with social welfare, security agencies, civil society organizations and media to End Gender Based Violence, (GBV), organized by the Ministry with support from UNFPA on Thursday in Kaduna.
She expressed dismay that despite the efforts made by the State Government to put in place a Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) response system, one out of every three girl did not report their experiences or seek for help.
She stressed that the ministry is mobilizing support to end Gender Based Violence, (GBV) in the state; calling on all stakeholders and key actors to join in the campaign.
“GBV is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world; adding that it is one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development. We all know that we have to do much more to respond to the cries for justice of women and children who have suffered violence.
“We have to do much more to end these horrible abuses and the impunity that allows these human rights violations to continue. I think we can all agree that the time for complacency is long gone, has passed and belongs to another era.
“The silence on violence against women and children has been broken and now is the time for stronger action. It is time for action when up to 70 per cent of women in some countries face physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime,” she said.
The guest lecturer, Dr. Hauwa Evelyn Yusuf, Department of Sociology, Kaduna State University, (KASU), called on parents to spend more time with their children.
Hauwa who specialized in Criminology and Gender Study, lamented that most sexual violence cases are swept under the carpet as victims and their parents are not ready to pursue the matter to logical conclusion.
In his remarks, the Divisional Police Officer Kabala West, CSP Abubakar Balteh said the Nigeria Police will give perpetrators of GBV a run for their money, as there is not going to be a hiding place for them.
The MWASD provides counseling, psycho social support to survivors of GBV, and also liaise with organizations to support other services such as legal for survivors.