As part of the activities for the 16 Days of Activism as a prelude to the commemoration of the year 2023 World Human Rights Day, the Edo State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Christabel Omoh Ekwu, has called on relevant stakeholders to collaborate in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

The commissioner, while briefing the press at the ministry’s premises in Benin City, stated that the ministry has a lot of activities lined up for the forthcoming 16 days of Activism, noting that it will mark another milestone in the collective efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls, adding that the ministry will continue to campaign and implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law.

She noted, “Violence against women and girls remains a critical human rights violation, which is affecting millions worldwide. In Edo State, we face intense challenges of this scourge in various settings such as homes, workplaces, online spaces, in rural areas and in the city metropolis.”

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Hon. Ekwu, who encouraged stakeholders in the private sector and the civil society organisations to increase their commitments in preventing GBV, advocated for more investment in women’s organisations, improved legislation, prosecution of perpetrators, enhanced services for survivors and comprehensive training for law enforcement officials as well as empowerment policies for our women and comprehensive education for the girl child.

Hon. Ekwu disclosed that the aim of establishing the Sexual Assault Referral Centre otherwise called the Vivian GBV Centre as a one-stop shop in June, 2020 is to provide medical, psychosocial counselling, legal and investigation services to the survivors. The commissioner disclosed that the Daisy Danjuma Women Centre was established recently as an infrastructural support to the state policy on women development, empowerment, care and protection.

The theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism is “UNITE! invest to prevent violence against women and girls”. The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has also ensured the passing of the VAPP Act into law in Edo State to address the menace of GBV in the state.