As part of its campaign to combat sexual violence during conflicts, the Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) has called for the release of abducted Miss Leah Sharibu and other women and girls held against their wish and being used as sex slaves.
Sharibu and her school mates were kidnapped on February 19, 2018 from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State and while the others have been released, her abductors are yet to release her till date.
NFF made the call in a statement to commemorate the 2021 international day for the elimination of sexual violence during conflict.
The statement, signed by its Communications Officer, Angela Nkwo, declared that the Nigerian government at different levels had failed to protect women and girls from sexual violence in the war against insecurity, sometimes from the law enforcement operatives.
According to the statement: “For more than ten years, Nigerian women and girls have been subjected to rape, incest, death, kidnappings, discrimination and a host of other sexual violence as a result of the insurgency taking place in various parts of the country; we have been the biggest victims of the sexual violence pandemic and lack of political will to enforce existing laws”.
The feminist group called on every State House of Assembly to immediately pass the Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill (VAPP) to protect everyone from all forms of violence.
Further, NFF demanded the immediate stop of the abduction and kidnapping of women and school girls by insurgents and other criminal elements, for sexual violence and for ransom purposes.
It called on the Nigeria Police to establish a gender desk in every station and to handle sexual violence cases as criminal offences and not as civil matters to be settled out of court.
The group called for a safe Nigeria, safe and peaceful environment for women and girls, and an end to insurgency and killings across the country.
The NFF is a biennial public policy forum of self-identifying feminists, who through feminist principles challenge the system of power, promote the learning and teaching of feminist principles and universality of women’s rights.