The Trade Union Congress (TUC) through its women wing, the Nigeria Women Commission, has called on State Governors to inaugurate Gender-based Violence Management Committee in their respective States to curtail the growing incidences of rape and violence against women across the country.
National Chairperson of the Commission, Hafsat Shaibu, made the call in Abuja during an advocacy campaign titled “SAY NO TO RAPE AND ALL FORMS OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE”.
Shaibu, whose address on the occasion was read by FCT chairperson of the TUC Women Commission, Comrade Zainab Umar Ganga, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated the gender-based violence management committee on Thursday June 11th, 2020 at the federal level.
“We encourage the respective State Governors to replicate same”, she said while noting that an amendment bill sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu last July, prescribing stiffer penalties for rape, will soon be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence after which it will be transmitted to the President for assent.
Shaibu enjoined well-meaning and responsible Nigerians to condemn rape in particular and all forms of gender based violence in general, so that the “cankerworm” can be wiped out, especially as anyone could be a victim.
“We are calling on each and every Nigerian to join in the efforts to tackle rape and sexual violence by protecting specifically the women and the girl child, ensuring prompt report of cases, seeking justice for the abused and punishing severely the perpetrators. Silence should not be an option in any case.
“The Trade Union Congress Women Commission condemns in total this evil act and encourages victims to against all odds speak out, parents should always have an eye on their wards, parents should also be their children’s friends.
“It has become mandatory to bring perpetrators to book by serving on them stiffer penalties and reintegrating the victims into the society.
“The Government has a role to play, the parents have a role to play, each and everyone has a role to play in condemning and bringing to an end this evil act staring us in the face.
“It is disheartening to see the perpetrators of these evil acts going about their normal lives as if they never did anything wrong, leaving the large number of victims and few survivors in a society where they are stigmatised, called all sorts of names and above all faced with an already failed future”, she stated.
She further beckoned on the government, NGOs and civil society organizations to collaborate with the Trade Union Congress so as to deal serious minded with these kind of offences by organising capacity building for the victims, management of victims, and ensuring procedures for collecting evidence towards a successful prosecution.