By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Stakeholders involved in gender advocacy have denounced the growing cases of violence against women and rape of the girl child in the state of Bayelsa, saying that 50 cases were recorded in 2020.
According to advocacy groups led by Do Foundation International, of the 50 registered cases, two convictions were secured while others are still pending in the courts.
Lawyer Dise Sheila Ogbise, speaking during the inauguration of the new executives of Fundación Do Intencional, Bayelsa chapter, led by Lawyer Confort Itoru, said that “it is discouraging that the abandonment of the complaint by the victims is a significant setback in their fight against gender-based party-based violence as the parties come to terms and drop their cases. “
Stakeholders present at the opening, including the representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Women’s Affairs, Ms. Kuro Ebiowe, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Ebinyu George Aderigha, President of BANGOF, Comrade Keme Opia and President of the Nigerian Women’s Medical Association, Dr. Ebi Okpomo, agreed that the issue of violence against women and girls should be reviewed in the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of State for Women’s Affairs, Ms. Kuro Ebiowe, who praised the advocacy efforts of the Do International Foundation, urged stakeholders to work with the state government in the fight against gender-based violence.
Also speaking, Do Foundation International President Barrister Sheila Ogbise noted that Do Foundation International Nigeria has carved out a niche for itself over the years with its tenacious commitment to the fight against gender-based violence.
He said that since the incorporation of the foundation in 2017, the bar has been raised on the issue of reporting victims and reporting cases of gender violence because speaking is better than silence.
“We started the Speak Up campaign in elementary and middle schools and in the communities of the state and it has greatly broken the culture of silence and the settlement of rape cases.
“With special reference to this year, the Do Foundation has registered more than fifty cases of gender violence and, with the association of some of its partners, has obtained two convictions, while most cases of gender violence are still pending. in the tribunals”.