…Plans Free Medical, Legal Services for Victims
By Chioma Ndife
Women Aid Collective (WACOL), alongside its arm, Tamar Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (Tamar SARC), has called for collective action against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that infringes on the rights of human beings.
The call was contained in a press statement issued to media practitioners by the group to mark the 2018 Human Rights Day and 16 days of activism to end gender based violence at the NUJ Press Centre Awka, December 10, 2018.
The 2018 Human Rights Day organized by WACOL and Tamar SARC was in collaboration with the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Anambra State Chapter.
Part of the statement issued by the group read, 'Human Rights Day is Observed every Year on 10 December, which is the anniversary of the day that the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the first ever proclamation on the rights and freedom of every human being.'
It further read, 'The United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for government, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness and importantly draw attention to the need for continuing action to eliminate violence against women and creating an enabling environment to support women and their children to escape violence.'
Addressing Journalists, the founder of WACOL, Prof. Joy Ngozi Eyisi, noted that the theme for the 2018 UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 'Orange the World: #HearMeToo' focused on 16 days of action against gender-based violence which was aimed at businesses that lacked infrastructure to deal with the large-scale problem of GBV.
She maintained that the focus on ending GBV in the world was very relevant, saying that companies could do more to aid their employees who endured domestic violence, trained those who witnessed it, and to protect staff as a whole, with the goal of securing safety and mitigating financial loss.
Prof. Ezeilo regretted that in spite of the several international and regional human rights treaties which the Nigerian Government had entered into, discrimination and gender inequalities had persistently been on the increase.
She opined that all must come together to promote the need to end gender-based violence by transforming the culture through enforcing laws that protected women's rights and changed attitude that condoned violence against women.
The WACOL Founder argued that the awareness of people on the various laws enacted to protect women and children against violence would help to reduce the number of GBV greatly.
She disclosed that the incidence of violence, according to WACOL's survey, was prevalent at the grassroots level where rural women were subjected to all kinds of violence, dehumanization and deprivation.
She revealed that WACOL, through its arm, Tamar SARC, specially created for the management of GBV Victims, would establish one of its branches in Awka for residents going through abuse to benefit from its free medical and legal services.
She beckoned on law enforcement agencies to protect women against all forms of violence.
Also speaking, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Ifesinachi, said that the partnership entered into was part of the media's collaboration with non-governmental organizations in a bid to address some social issues.
He noted that through the partnership, people would be provided with information and educated on where to go in cases of abuse, among others.