As part of the activities for the 16 Days of Activism in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girl Child, the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues has organized a road walk with the aim of sensitizing residents on the provisions of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law.

The Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon.Christabel Omoh Ekwu who was in company of the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Arc. Joshua Omokhodion and representatives of various NGOs while leading the staff of the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues round the Benin metropolis, called on relevant stakeholders to collaborate in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state, encouraging women to speak out when they find themselves in abusive marriages.

Addressing traders at Oba Market, the commissioner, warned against all forms of Gender Based Violence, advising perpetrators to desist from such unwholesome acts, as anyone apprehended would be made to face the long arm of the law, adding that the penalty for such an offence is life imprisonment.

Hon.Christabel further explained that female genital mutilation is against the law, giving a stern warning to all involved in such inhumane activities to desist from them, as anyone culpable, through any form of involvement would be duly punished.

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“Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girl Child. It is a day set aside to listen to the cry of that woman and that girl child who has be going through a lot, there is good news for them because we have a Governor, Godwin Obaseki who is willing to fight for their rights”. She stated.

The commissioner who frowned on the continuous maltreatment of widows stated that, it is most inhuman to aggravate the misery of women who were grieving the loss of their spouses, advising residents to stay away from women and girl child related crimes such as rape, using of sharp objects on women, denying the girl child education,depriving women the right to peaceful association, abandonment of children and many more.

On his part, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Edo State Chapter, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, while receiving the commissioner and her entourage at the premises of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Benin City, commended the state government for its unwavering efforts towards the elimination of violence against women and girls in the state, pledging his support towards the cause.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girl child is, “UNITE, invest to prevent Violence Against Women and Girl child”.