Whether old or new, rape or sexual and gender -based violence are evil against humanity, which Abians and Nigerians in general must come together to end, Chief Mrs. Ukachi Amala, the Commissioner for women affairs and social development has said.
Amala said this during the Abia State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and Vicar Hope Foundation in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA sensitization tour of Communities and interactive sessions with Elders in council; Community gate keepers, youths and women Council at Umugba hall, Avor-Ntigha in Isiala-Ngwa North L.G.A, of the state.
She remarked that the year 2020 will not be forgotten in a hurry because of the Corona virus disease pandemic, its transmission and the exposure of the lapses in the communities, the realities of not being able to protect the vulnerable, women and children from sexual and gender based violence, which increased during the lock down.
She decried the uncanny acts against the women folk which became rampant during the lockdown. She enjoined parents, leadership of town unions, the religious among others to jointly and effectively play their roles in order to end the bad behaviour.
Amala who assured the Ministry’s commitment to contending the gender based violence encouraged the victims to speak out through the ministry or relevant bodies while seeking medical assistance.
She said, “until an effective COVID-19 medication and vaccination is developed, we shall continue to follow the safety protocols and strengthen the practice of environmental cleanliness and personal hygiene”.
In her lecture titled, “Rape And Defilement”, a resource person and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Lady Onyinye Nwachukwu said that rape cases abound as a result of high level of moral decadence in the Society.
She decried that men who are supposed to offer protection to women and children, have unwantonly become perpetrators to the extent that most of them delight in abusing even minors and encouraged Isiala-Ngwa community to rise and say total no to rape and defilement.
Nwachukwu who further decried the rate youths abuse drugs and which also affects their psyche, pointed out that her ministry in collaboration with Vicar Hope Foundation has been sensitizing the public on the issue.
Issues like gender based violence; genotype and gender equality were disclosed by other resource persons who include: Mrs Nwaigwe Eunice, President National Council of Women Society, NCWS.
In appreciation, the Chairman of Umugba village, Comrade Samuel Nwachukwu appreciated the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and partners for the programme and promised to sustain the advocacy and sensitization message in the community.
The Commissioner leading the team had on arrival paid a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of Avor-Ntigha autonomous community, Eze Robert Nwaigwe and Sir Ambrose Nwachukwu, former Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Zone C and Special Adviser to the governor.