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Anambra: NHRC records 341 GBV cases in 2021

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By Lawrence Nwimo

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Anambra State says it recorded cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) totalling three hundred and forty-one since January, 2021.

The GBV cases, according to the commission, fall within child and women’s right abuse, abandonment, economic abuse, batteries, rapes, domestic violence, disinheritance, among many others.

The statistics was given at the commission’s meeting with Stakeholders’ in commemoration of the 2021 International Human Rights Day, celebrated every 10th December. The event took place in Awka, the State capital on Friday.

The Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, in an address, noted that one in every three women, globally, experiences physical or sexual abuse and claimed that such was mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner and had often resulted to physical, sexual, mental consequences and deaths.

Ojukwu decried height of violence against women and girls in the society and maintained that the practice remained largely unreported due to factors that included silence, stigma and shame attached to the practice.

He expressed urgent need to intensify education of the young generation towards promoting respectful relationships and gender equality, in line with the principles of equality and non discrimination which formed heart of human rights.

Speaking earlier at the event, themed: “Equality – Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights”, the NHRC Anambra coordinator, Mrs Nkechi Ugwuanyi, expressed need to find lasting solutions to deep-rooted issues of gender discrimination prevalent in the society.

According to her: “Equality and non discrimination emphasizes on leaving no one behind: Equality and non-discrimination creates room for sustainable development which includes addressing and finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in societies, including women and girls, and people with disabilities, among others.”

The coordinator called for renewed political commitment and participation towards achieving a new social contract, which, according to her, would water ground for fair share of power, resources and opportunities and would set foundations for a sustainable human rights-based economy.

Her words: “Human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights as well as the right to development and the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, are central to building a new human rights-based economy that supports better, fairer and more sustainable societies for present and future generations.

“A human rights-based economy should be the foundation of a new social contract to ensure equal opportunities for youth to address successive financial and health crises that may create a multidimensional impacts on millions of young people in future.”

She called on relevant stakeholders to put in place, plans, towards ensuring that peoples’ rights are protected, including access to decent jobs and social protection.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders, including CSOs and other partner bodies, at the meeting, brainstormed on the challenges, successes as well as reaffirmed their commitment to the fight towards eradication of GBV in the state.

Mr Francis Ekwemeze called for the establishment of special courts to handle cases of sexual and gender-based violence to facilitate speedy justice for victims in the state.

Also, Mrs Rachel Yohanna of Child Protection Network (CPN) and Mrs Chioma Okoye of WACOL called for improved sensitization of VAPP Law and collaboration among civil society organisations in fighting violence against women and children.

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