482 cases of violence against women, girls recorded in Plateau in 2 years

Gov Lalong
Plateau recorded 482 cases of violence against women and girls in the last two years, an NGO, Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigeria(CWEENS), said on Friday in Jos.

Prof. Funmi Para-Mallum, its National Coordinator, who disclosed this at a High Level Advocacy and Policy Dialogue initiated by the Plateau government, said that the cases were recorded from 2015 to early 2017 by CWEENs’ Observatory Steering Committee (OBSTEC).

“CWEENS, through OBSTEC, records, documents and responds to cases of violence against women and girls. It does that in partnership with Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme.

“The most unfortunate angle to our findings is that 42.3 per cent of the cases involved minors,” she said.

The NGO official identified challenges in addressing the situation to include low institutional capacity caused by poor budgetary allocations to agencies expected to handle the menace.

“Another major challenge is the high tolerance for such violence in the society, as well as the culture of silence, stigmatisation and blame,” she said.

In her remarks, Mrs. Rufina Gurumyen, the Plateau Commissioner for Women Affairs, said that the violence on women and girls was worsened by the communal crises that had been the lot of the state since 2001.

She said that the meeting was to offer all stakeholders, the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature, the opportunity to individually and corporately make policy inputs toward curbing the incidences of such violence.

“We expect that the discussions will lead to policy declarations toward protecting the rights of women and children in Plateau,” she said.

Gov. Simon Lalong, on his part, blamed the rising cases of violence on women and girls on underdevelopment and illiteracy.

Represented by Mr. Hitler Dadi, Commissioner for Special Duties, Lalong said that the Child Rights Law, established in 2005, would soon be gazetted.

“The Plateau government is working toward gazetting the Child Rights Law and the Gender and Equal Opportunity Act. Immediately we do that, we shall adopt them to protect our women and girls,” he said. 
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