Women journalists in Bauchi State, under the aegis of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), on Saturday added their voices to the call against gender-based violence during an awareness walk on the streets of Bauchi
The campaign is part of activities to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The journalists were joined on the awareness walk by other women groups, Civil Society Organisations and the HEFORSHE.
From the Press Centre secretariat of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), the women took their call to action through Ahmadu Bello way to Wuntin Market and ended at the Bauchi State government Secretariat.
The awareness placards displayed by the women read, “Take action to end Gender Based Violence”; “Educate yourself and others about GBV”; “Use your voice on social media to bring awareness”, among many others.
Speaking on the awareness walk, the state chairperson of NAWOJ, Bulak Afsa, said it was organised to create awareness of the threat of gender-based violence in the society.
Afsa said the recent increasing cases of gender-based violence gave cause for concern, submitting that the media had a great role to play in educating the people, particularly victims, to speak out.
She, however, appealed to the government to ensure that adequate sanction is meted on any perpetrators of gender-based violence in the state.
“The recent increase in reported cases of gender-based violence like rape and sexual assaults is a source of concern and proper attention must be given to educating our children.
“The media and community structures have a great role to play in passing out key messages that will encourage victims to speak out, while government must ensure punishment is meted on culprits,” the NAWOJ chairperson said.
In their various speeches, representatives of other women groups, including the chairperson of the state chapter of the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Magistrate Shafau Ladan; chairperson, Stand Up Women Society, Dinatu Steven and State Amira, Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajiya Ai’shatu Ibrahim Kilishi, asserted that the society needs to speak with one voice on current happenings as far as gender-based violence is concerned.
They urged parents to always educate their children on issues relating to the menace and what they need to do when someone attempts to either rape or sexually assault them.
The speakers further urged parents and guardians to speak out whenever their children or wards are molested for proper action to be taken.
They, however, commended the state governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed for signing the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) bill passed by the state House of Assembly into law and constituting a gender-based violence standing committee.
Addressing the women journalists and other groups, the Bauchi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Child Development, Hajara Gidado, assured of the readiness of her ministry to pursue all cases related to gender-based violence.
Newspot reports that the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls which holds between November 25 and December 10 every year.
16 Days of Activism: Women journalists take campaign to Bauchi streets