By Joel Gomiyer
Women for Women Nigeria, an international non-governmental organization wants violence against women declared as a global emergency.
Country Director of the NGO, Mrs. Bukola Onyishi, made the call on Thursday, at the closing of this year’s “16 days of activism” by in Plateau state.
“It is time the world recognizes rape and other violence against women as a pandemic and work towards addressing it to save generations to come,” said Mrs. Onyishi.
According to her, during the Covid-19 pandemic alone, over 700 cases of violence against women were recorded across Nigeria.
“The figures could even be higher,” she said, as many more cases might be unreported.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Anthonia Olieh urged Nigerians to speak out against any forms of violence against women folk in any giving opportunity.
She equally sued for support to victims of rape and other forms of violence against women.
Presenting a paper on “Challenges in reporting violence against women: way forward”, Professor Patricia Lar of the University of Jos, said violence against women is underreported in Nigeria, which she said is contributing to its rise.
The Professor of Science regretted that men who ought to protect women are the ones inflicting pains on them.
She however applauded Women for Women Nigeria and other NGOs working to improve life for women.
The Advocacy Coordinator of Women for Women International Nigeria, Mrs. Zainab Gbobaniyi, said the NGO has trained women to identify and report all forms of violence against them.
She condemned cultural beliefs depriving women of their rights and privileges, while appreciating communities that have made adjustments in their traditions to favour women.
One of those trained by the NGO, Blessing Abus Ajang said many women were afraid to speak up due to restricting societal norms until they started engaging traditional rulers.
Women for women International, has existed in Nigeria for over 20 years, working across states to better the lives of women.
The group has trained many women to speak against rape, early child marriage, and sharing of inheritance among others.