Bauchi: Christians march against gender-based violence, advocate stringent punishment for perpetrators

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As part of their contribution to voices against increasing cases of gender-based violence against women, particularly rape of underaged girls across the country, Christian women in Bauchi State on Saturday organized a public rally against the menace.

Coming on the heels of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, holding from November 25 to December 10, the women under the aegis of the Bauchi State Council of Woman Wing of the Christian Council of Nigeria (WOWICCN), staged a peaceful walk on the Hospital road in Bauchi metropolis.

Carrying placards with different inscriptions, the Christian women, drawn from member churches of Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), sang songs like, “Enough is enough, no to gender based violence, no to rape, no to molestation of the girl-child, no to domestic violence against the woman”, as they converged on the United Evangelical Church (UEC), Hospital road.

Addressing the gathering, the National Secretary of WOWICCN, Mrs Mercy John, explained that many women had been subjected to various forms of violence, adding that the march was organised with a view to the organisation joining the ongoing fight against every form of gender based violence in the country.

According to her, there was a need for the government to enact stringent laws against perpetrators of gender-based violence, declaring that the manhood of any rapists should be cut off to serve as a deterrent to others.

In her words, she said: “Many women have been violated and subjected to various forms of domestic, physical and emotional violence by the menfolk. There are also some cultural issues that are practiced which are another form of violence against the woman.

“Government needs to enact stringent laws against the offenders. In fact, we in WOWICCN are in support of laws that will have the manhood of the offender cut off so as to serve as a deterrent to others who may have the intention of committing such a crime.”

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While calling for protection of women and young girls, John informed that WOWICCN wanted the girl-child to also have the rights to live, go to school, among others without any fears.

“We want a girl-child who will be given the rights to live, go to school, engage in a meaningful venture without any fear of molestation from anyone. We are calling on the government to come out and protect the women and their children from any form of molestation.”

The WOWICCN national scribe, however, called on mothers to do much in terms of protecting their girl-child from falling victim of gender based violence, adding that they should also know the company their children’s keep.

According to her, “as responsible mothers, women must know the type of friends their daughters are keeping. They are expected to be friends with them, give them listening ears and assist them in solving the problem of relationships.”

On her part, the State Chairperson of WOWICCN, Mrs Agnes Awoyale, said the organisation embarked upon the march to lend its voice against the suffering of women who have been battered through violence against them.

Awoyale lamented that the society remains silent and not ready to listen to the cries of women and girls suffering from gender based violence, adding that a lot of the women are suffering in silence as a result of this.

Newspot reports that the 16 Days Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

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