IDEVAW 2022: MAMA Centre calls for preventive interventions targeted at informal sector, launches empowerment project
The Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre) commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2022, themed “UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls”.
We on this Day acknowledge and commend all emerging and existing passion-driven efforts at individuals’ level with greater curiosity to advance human rights and preserve the dignity of women and girls across the globe. This to a large extent, includes human/women’s rights activists, who are currently held captive as political prisoners, tortured or silently murdered through varied extra-judicial means, or subjected to degrading treatments, while protesting violence against women and girls or giving voice to the voiceless.
We reiterate serious concerns that violence against women and girls persists at unprecedented rate in a secluded dimension as witnessed in recent times, especially at family level, where women or girls are remanded or held captive at home against their will, tortured and starved for their refusal to be subjective to undignified social norms or maintaining an independent position on their lives and future.
We on this note recall and condemn in totality, the recent cases in Yobe state involving the death of Sadiya Salihu, a middle-aged woman, who was reportedly locked by her husband, Ibrahim Yunusa Bature, in a room for one year without food; the death of an Abuja-based gospel artiste, Osinachi Nwachukwu, whose live was cut short through alleged abuse and domestic violence orchestrated by her husband in April, 2022; and many other unreported cases across the country.
We also observed little policy intervention or preventive engagement at informal sector, which has hitherto harboured severe but under-reported cases of sexual abuse, harassment and rape of women and adolescent girls without appropriate sanctions. We are worried that this unchecked arm of the society has normalised violence against women and adolescent girls as a daily phenomenon.
Just as we express total displeasure over emerging policy moves at sub-national levels to frustrate collective effort championed by Civil Society groups to promote social inclusion, social justice, self-determination, self-sufficiency and end violence against women and girls.
We therefore call for targeted preventive engagement, policy interrogation and appropriate sanctions against systemic mainstreamed gender-based violence at the informal sector and within families.
We also call for an increased psycho-emotional support system for the survivors of gender-based violence through institutionalised mechanisms like ‘safe space’ and proactive enforcement agencies to fully implement relevant provisions of existing laws including Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.
We demand prompt Presidential assent into Anti-sexual Harassment Bill to protect students against sexual harassment, as well as prevent sexual harassment of students by educators in tertiary institutions.
We further demand immediate release from political captivities, all human and women’s rights activists across the world.
In commemoration of the Day, MAMA Centre under the aegis of Accountability for Empowerment (A4E) project with support from Voice Nigeria will be rolling out strategic activities to advance socio-economic empowerment of Udi women/rightsholders in Enugu state.
Executive Director, MAMA Centre