Challenge inequality, violence against women,NHRC boss urges
RMTIMESNG—Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tony Ojukwu Esq. has streesed the need for all to challenge inequality and violence against women.
Women deserve a future free from any form of violence,he declared,adding that they should be respected and included in all spheres of nation building.
Speaking on the International Women’s Day, (IWD) which was marked on March 8 ,he described women as the reason for growth of the human race and that they play crucial role in development.
“They deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotype and violence; the future that is sustainable, peaceful with equal rights and opportunities for all,” he stated.
“We cannot get to such a wonderful future except we have women on every table where crucial decisions that benefit every person regardless of place and creed are made.”
He urged all to be ready to support the fight against inequality in all its ramifications and collectively help to create an inclusive world.
“Equality for women is progress for all, countries with higher level of gender equality have higher economic growth and better protection for rights of women.”
The Executive Secretary noted for instance that women participation in peace and security work and women negotiators would increase the chances of sustainable peace.
He disclosed that an institution mandated to promote and protect human rights,the Commission had in recent time chosen to focus on issues affecting women, especially Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Barrister Ojukwu described SGBV as one of the major impediments to the development of any society,adding that it was exacerbated by the lock-down occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He pointed out that as the country fights the scourge of the pandemic, women should be respected and given the opportunity to show their potentials in nation building, rather than being perpetually oppressed and violated for the slightest reason.
The Commission ,he said,had done a lot to address the issue of SGBV in many ways including; setting up of a Special Investigation Panel on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, made up of experts in the field of gender based violence.
According to him,the panel with the support of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is currently sitting across the country to receive, hear and investigate complaints of SGBV and make appropriate determinations/recommendations from their findings.
He revealed that the Commission with the support of The CANNS had developed a web application ,UNSUB App, where members of the public could report cases of SGBV for themselves or behalf of others.
The commission also embarked on 16 days of activism across the federation with several advocacy activities to draw attention to the ills of SGBV, the Chief Human Rights Officer added.
He called on the government to put machineries in place to provide security in public schools to encourage more girls to acquire education,pointing out “educating a girl child is educating a whole nation.”
Thr NHRC boss who stressed the need to make the implementation of safe the school declaration programme a priority,said it would enhance the standard of education.