The Oyo State Chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), in a bid to end the spate of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) against women in the State, has paid an advocacy visit to the state Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Amidat Ololade Agboola, to solicit more support for the violence against women law.
In her address at the HoS office, 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, but the situation has not changed as expected since the law was put in place, because certain factors such as culture of case withdrawal by victims’ families and dearth of data often stand in the way of justice.
Collins said: “We are here on a directive from the United Nations to engage stakeholders on the level that SGBV against women has been and 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. So, this law actually addresses this as well as the emotional violence and it can be seen as an innovation under our criminal code.
Responding, the HoS said: “We must commend you for taking your time to sensitise the people for them to know their rights and what can be done. Most women are going through a lot in their marriages. We, women, pretend a lot and because there is no how people can know what is on going with most of us, we keep pretending. But we have a lot to do. The sensitisation should be in the market, religious centres and associations.”
“We should let every woman know that she has a right to prosecute anyone when she’s being violated and abused. In fact, the EndSARS ‘Sorosoke’ tag is for us, women. We have to always speak out when abused because even the person that abuse us may not know that what he has done is wrong. But I will convey your message to the right authority,” she added.