The Ebonyi State Government has assured that no perpetrator of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) would be spared.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Chinwe Okah, gave the assurance in Abakaliki on Monday at a news conference to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day.
The programme was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Wife of the State Governor, Rachael Umahi in Abakaliki.
The day is observed every March 8 to celebrate women and their achievements with the theme “Break the Bias”.
According to the commissioner, the ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with law enforcement agencies, a strong GBV taskforce, and mobile court to ensure quick access to justice in GBV cases.
She said that massive awareness and sensitisation against GBV by the taskforce and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law had given more confidence to survivors to report cases.
“More cases are being reported and the act is reducing. About 11 perpetrators have been convicted out of 695 persons that needed access to justice in the state.
“Our major challenge is access to justice and safe space. The space is a structure required in the provision of complete GBV services,” Mrs Okah said.
The Project Director, Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme, Grace Jimbo, said a total of 298 survivors of gender-based violence were identified and given care.
“We are partnering with Jhpiego through MomentumCountry and Global Leadership (MCGL) Project to equip the capacity of 242 healthcare workers across 121 health facilities in 11 local government areas, to provide screening to 31,065 women in six months.
“We also engaged the services of human rights lawyers for the provision of free legal services and access to justice for GBV survivors,” Mrs Jimbo said.
The State Team Leader, USAID-MCGL Project, Nneka Chijioke-Dikeocha, said there was need for all local and international partners to say no to inequalities and break the bias to achieve the course.
Meanwhile, Eze Linus Nwizi, the traditional ruler of Ezzaiyimagu Autonomous Community in Izzi Local Government Area and his counterparts from Ezza-North, stated that women had been included in their cabinet and there were plans for more women inclusion.
Mr Nwizi said he was collaborating with Mrs Umahi’s programmes and other local partners in the state to end early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and all forms of GBV.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the event featured partners, USAID-IHP, Gender Health, Civil Society Organisations, traditional leaders of various communities and the media.
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