By Gabriel Chy Alonta
As the world commemorate 16 Days of activism and 70th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights day, a nongovernmental organisation, under the aegis of women aid in collective (WACOL), has called for improved awareness of Human Rights to eliminate violence against women and young people.
WACOL, saddled with giving free legal aid services for women, young boys and girls, maintained that all human beings are entitled to all the rights and freedoms irrespective of race, color, sex, language, political or religious denomination.
Speaking on the occasion, the founder of WACOL and professor of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, expressed regret that despite Nigeria‘s ratification to several international human rights treaties, women and girls rights were still violated in Nigeria.
Ezeilo called for increased public awareness on the need to eliminate violence against women as well as create enabling environment to support women and their children to escape violence.
According to her, “Discrimination and gender inequality persists de jure and de facto. Women and girls continue to suffer systematic discrimination because of their sex or gender and this have reached to impunity level. “Sexual and gender-based violence such as rape; sexual abuse; sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions; trafficking in women for forced prostitution and domestic labour; spousal battery and acid attack is pervasive”.
The university don, who enjoined business owners to improve infrastructure, protect employees, noted that companies can do more to aid their employees who endure domestic violence.
While recalling that Anambra state have since enacted violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law, in 2017, Ezeilo however said the generality of inhabitants of the state, including victims and perpetrators were unaware of its provision.
She said sensitisation and advocacy towards effective implementation of extant laws that prevent and combat all forms of sexual and gender-based violence would protect everyone – women, girls, men and boys from all forms of violence
The professor of Law also advised that political violence be eschewed especially during electioneering campaign, enjoining law enforcement agencies to protect women.
In a remark, the Anambra state chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Sir Emma Ifesinachi, described the theme of the occasion as apt and timely, remarking that no nation would advance without allowing her citizens their rights as enshrined in the constitution.
Ifesinachi assured that the union would continue to partner with WACOL to ensure that violation of human rights is reduced to barest minimum using its’ platforms.
In a vote of thanks, the NUJ secretary, Comrade Emma Uduagha, commended WACOL for the lofty but cherished objectives of eliminating violence against persons, expressing optimism that the partnership with the union would help to raise consciousness for people become to be more responsible.