Recently, I was a guest at a phone – in – radio program where we discussed on ‘Reducing Gender Violence: aWoman’s perspective’. There were many contributions as the fact remained that GBV is real; a human rights violation that’s been perpetuated for decades and is detrimental to humanity as it rips off its victims Pride, Dignity and Values.
Millions of Women are undergoing this dehumanization on daily basis where cultural and traditional practices, as well as religious beliefs, are considered as major causes coupled with economic, environmental and political barriers therewith.
Environmental challenges have posed huge threats to young girls and women’s standard of living: livelihoods, health, safety and security, etc. The above as factors have also heightened the existing gender inequalities and promoted unspeakable anti-social hindrances to accessing their God-given heritages, which makes them unable to secure economic stability in the present day society.
These environmental challenges have also increased economic woes among women and girls. The same goes for trafficking against women and girls through deception or coercion where these opposite sex become lured into forced prostitution or domestic servitude, thereby violating their fundamental human rights.
Politically, the rights of women and girls constitute a democratic right, and they must ensure their rights are protected against all forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender. We saw some few months ago at the National Assembly where bills to promote women’s inclusion and participation in politics by way of increasing women’s representation in leadership and decision-making were thwarted by members of the National Assembly, and this led to national uproar by Nigerian women from all works of life irrespective of religion, tribe and political divides. Women strongly rejected the decision by the honourable members by protesting for days at the National Assembly seeking global attention.
I also use this medium to urge women out there to go register for their PVCs, as with our PVCs we can confidently change the narrative by voting out candidates whose manifestoes do not have the interests of women at heart.
Nigerian women should be vigilant and sensitive enough to interface with candidates in the forthcoming elections. Women should be bold enough to hold leaders accountable who, negate their campaign promises which means, women cannot be politically disfranchised at any level.
Use you PVC to break the culture of silence, stigma and all forms of political violence against women and girls. Break the cycle of neglect, marginalization and poverty among women. Let’s put an end to obnoxious laws or practices that negate women’s equal representation and access to legal resources and finally, use your PVCs to vote in women with capacity and agility to drive Nigerian women Agenda.
As Nigerian women, we can collectively take action today because ending GBV is everyone’s business.
– By Tonbra Kasikoro-KILOPIRITE, CS Advance Forum on SDGs, Delta State