BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The UN WOMEN under UN Spotlight Initiative and other stakeholders, have been commended for the sustainable supports made towards driving the campaign targeted at eradicating all forms of gender and sexual based violence against women and girls in Cross River state.
The commendation was made by the Secretary to the Government of Cross River state, Barrister Tina Agbor during a media review of this year’s 16 days of Activism packaged to draw global attention to harmful practices against women and girls.
According to her, “the synergy has placed the state in the forefront as a leading light in terms of concerted efforts to checkmate such menace and accord women and the girl child equal pedestal to maximize their potentials in life”.
She expressed delight at the gender equality disposition of governor Ben Ayade as demonstrated in the appointment and elections of women into key sensitive public offices.
Furtherance, she charged such women to justify the trust reposed in them by Ayade’s administration to guarantee attainment of the affirmative action quota as demanded by women.
Agbor implored female students to accord priority attention to their studies and promptly report of amorous lecturers engaging in sexual exploitations to relevant authorities for necessary action.
Speaking, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Rita Ayim, attributed the success of the programme to effective synergy between her ministry, line MDAs, donor agencies, Non governmental organisations and Civil Societies Organisations and sued for the bond to be sustained for optimum results.
Ayim called on the state government to set up a ONE-STOP -SHOP-CENTER in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender based violence CENTER in order to meet the needs of the already stressed and traumatized SURVIVORS
Also, she called on all Critical Stakeholders/State Actors to speak out against perpetrators/offenders to get “JUSTICE for the SURVIVORS” stressing that the culture of silence must be eradicated to stem the tide.
Meanwhile, the state chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Barr Ann Awa, had appealed to the governor Ben Ayade and State House of Assembly to quickly pass and domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibitions(VAPP) Act to stem the growing menace of gender and sexual based violence within Cross River state.
Awa stated this at the end of the one kilometer peaceful walk to draw global attention to the Elimination of Violence targeted at the female gender in the society.
Earlier, the leader of Cross River chapter of Medical Women Association, Dr Bassey Nakanda, had sued for closer ties between government agencies and civil societies for effective data collation to guarantee needed intervention.
Nakanda who was re-presented at the occasion by Dr Helen Unuareokpa, said such collaboration is also needed to facilitate attainment of set goals.
Highlights of the event, include drama sketch and good will messages from partners and stakeholders.