Government News Source|11 December 2018
The Wife if the Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has stated that one in every three women suffers violence NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered.
Ayade stated this in Calabar the Cross River capital during the commissioning of the gender based response centre at the Ministry of Women Affairs.
Her words "this centre has to be maximally utilize and open to the women of this state as one in every three women suffers gender based violence, I am happy today because we are one step ahead of the problem. In this government, when we see a problem, we try to go a step ahead by providing solution and so we are glad to commission this centre.
"According to UNFPA, the violence against women was on a high rate, I want to thank UNFPA for supporting this government. Please take this massage to your Country Representative, your Regional Head and your Executive Director that we are grateful for your support. Even my foundation, the Mediatrix Development Foundation has enjoyed a lot of support from UNFPA.
"We are passionate about issues of the women and that is why have to establish the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative CROWEI, and we hope that before the end of the year, we will have a mega empowerment for our women.
"I hereby call on you all to take advantage of this opportunity and access the services that will be rendered in this centre, each and everyone of us here has one or two persons who will need these services, kindly intimate them".
Earlier, the Head of Calabar Office and South South, Southeast Coordinator of UNFPA, Mr. Kenneth Ehouzou noted that "it is an honor and pleasure to share this day with all women but more especially with women of Cross River State. On behalf of the UN family let me thank you for your interest and for joining us today for the commemoration of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
"As a member of the centre for Women's Global Leadership, UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, work in partnership with government ministries and other partners in ensuring rights and choices for all. UNFPA puts special emphasis on protecting women and girl's human rights in line with it's three transformative results to be achieved by 2030; end unmet need for family planning, end preventable death and end violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
"Gender Based Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights with a significant impact on physical, sexual and reproductive health. The National Demographic Health Survey, 2013 indicates that 65.5 percent of women aged 15-49 years have experienced sexual violence.
"Also 46.5 percent of women aged 15-49 who have experienced violence never sought help or never told anyone about the violence. These statistics makes it clear that the silence on violence against women and girls must end now".
Ehouzou maintained that "low level of awareness of survivors rights and a lack of access to health, legal, protection and psychological services for survivors contribute to high levels of under reporting and leave women and children alone to cope with the trauma of violence.
"it is noteworthy that Cross River State has a number of GBV related legislations and policies in place, however, the prevalence of GBV had remained high. As much as punishment of crimes is crucial, other programs must be put in place, especially towards survivor support. The GBV prevention and response centre shall provide confidential, non judgmental and respectful comprehensive survivor centred care. This will ensure the protection and assistance of serious crime and will not be tolerated.
"As we launch the GBV center, I would like to renew UNFPA's commitment to prevent violence against women and girls including refugees and the vulnerable group as part of our obligation to end this brutal human rights' violation. I want to urge the people of Cross River State to use the centre".
On her part, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Stella Odey stated that the government of Senator Ben Ayade is very passionate about issues of women and noted that "this is the first time that women occupy sensitive position and at the number that it is currently. We have over fifty women appointees sited here today.
"let me thank specially our dear mother, the wife of dear Governor who is very concern about women. For UNFPA, you are very wonderful, thank you for refurbishing the GBV response centre, we will continue to be grateful to you".
The event was held to commemorate 16 days of Active Activism Against Gender Based Violence which runs from 25 November to 10 December, which is also the day of the Human Rights.
This day was originated by activists at the inaugural Women's Global Leadership. It is used as an Organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
The commemoration started with a walk from Unical Main gate to the Ministry of Women Affairs.