To enforce the law on violence against women and in essence, put an end to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) against women in Oyo State, the state chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) is currently campaigning for more support.
This was its submission at an advocacy visit to the state Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Amidat Agboola, recently.
In her address, the chairperson of the state FIDA, Mrs. Oluyemisi Collins, noted that prior to the creation of the law in the state, there was a surge in the spate of violence and abuse against women.
She added: “The situation has not changed as expected since the law was put in place. Certain factors such as culture of case withdrawal by victims’ families and dearth of data often stand in the way of justice.”
According to the chairperson, their visit is in line with the directive from the United Nations to engage stakeholders on the level that SGBV against women has been.
She added that it is also to educate people on the usage of the extant law prohibiting it.
“The fact remains that despite the efforts by the state government, the spate of this particular crime is on the increase here partly because there is no data.
“Many women will be asked to quit their job in a bid to face the family squarely. But after some years, you see these women start begging for survival.”
She however listed key stakeholders in their SGBV campaign, the governor’s wife office, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), National Council of Women Societies/NGOS, and Association of Women with Disability among others.
Meanwhile, she bemoaned that despite the stakeholders’ efforts, justice often eludes most women because the evidence needed to prosecute issues are not always there.
The chairperson emphasised: “When a woman is beaten a lot of times, she will be busy taking care of herself. When we even want to go to court, the women try to stop us.”
In her reaction, the HoS commended FIDA for taking their time to sensitise women on their rights and what can be done.
While noting that most women go through a lot in their marriages, Agboola called for more sensitisation in markets, religious centres, and associations.
“We should let every woman know that she has a right to prosecute anyone when she is being violated and abused,” she urged.
She, therefore, called on women across the state to speak out when abused. “In fact, the EndSARS ‘Sorosoke’ tag is for us, women.”