By Deborah Coker
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin Zonal Command, recently, took its campaign against gender-based violence to the New Benin Market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Benin Zonal Command comprises Edo and Delta.
NAN also reports that the event was part of the annual 16 days of activism against gender-based violence which began on Nov. 25 and ended on Dec. 10.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Chidiebere Oruruo-Ifudu, the Zonal Commander, said that in recent times, women’s feeling of safety had been eroded by various acts of violence against them.
Oruruo-Ifudu also said that such feeling had negatively impacted on women’s mental and emotional well-being; adding that violence against women was a global crisis.
“Conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity, human rights violations, all contribute to women and girls living with a sense of danger even in their homes.
“Therefore, the essence of this initiative is to bring to the fore the ills of gender-based violence and the need to prevent and drastically reduce violence against women,’’ she said.
According to her, it might not be wrong to presume that one in every four or five women feels less safe at home with increased household conflicts.
She said that a UN data on gender-based violence during the COVID-19 outbreak confirmed that violence against women worsened due to the pandemic.
Oruruo-Ifudu said the pandemic which necessitated isolation and social distancing enabled a “second shadow pandemic’’ – violence against women and girls, who often find themselves in lockdown with their abusers.
“So, commemorating this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with the theme “Orange the World: End Violence against women now’’, is very apt.
“This is because this campaign is a form of strategy by individuals and organisations such as NAPTIP which is in the fore front of tackling gender-based issues to increase the tempo against the problem.
Oruruo-Ifudu further said that the campaign and sensitisation was carried out in line with the directives of the NAPTIP Director General, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi on the 16 days activism against sexual and gender based violence.
She commended some of the stakeholders like the Edo State TaskForce on Human Trafficking, Ministry of Women and Gender Affairs, Greater Returnees, Girl Power Initiatives (GPI), Caritas Nigeria, and Genius Hub, who joined the command for the campaign.