Rising Gender-Based Violence Sparks Concern in Ondo State… PIND Report

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…a Call for Action to Safeguard Women’s Rights and Safety

In a recent report by Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), an alarming surge in gender-based violence (GBV) in Ondo State has raised significant concerns. The report highlights targeted violence against women and girls (VAWG) as a pressing issue that demands immediate attention to protect the wellbeing of the state’s female residents NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

According to the report, data spanning from January 2021 to June 2023 reveals disturbing figures. Over 60 incidents of VAWG have been reported in Ondo state during this period, with more than 25 related fatalities. The report brings to light the rising instances of sexual violation and even killings for ritualistic purposes, underscoring the urgency of addressing this dire situation.

Several distressing incidents were highlighted in the report, shedding light on the grim reality. In May 2023, an 80-year-old woman was reportedly raped to death by a 27-year-old man in the Ore community of Odigbo Local Government Area (LGA). Similarly, a 58-year-old woman was killed by a 29-year-old man who attempted to rape her in Akure, the state capital. The report also outlines instances of violence against minors, including a 12-year-old girl allegedly raped by a middle-aged man in Igbokoda town, Ilaje LGA.

As recent as August 6, 2023, a 45-year-old woman was reportedly subjected to torture, killed, and dismembered by her former boyfriend in the Oke-Aro area of Akure South LGA. The gravity of these incidents indicates the disturbing trend that is jeopardising the safety and security of women and girls in the state.

The PIND report highlights the multifaceted impact of VAWG on various aspects of society. Psychosocial and health implications are a significant concern, including mental health issues, sexual and reproductive health challenges, and life-threatening injuries or deaths. The report also underscores the potential economic ramifications, placing a heavy burden on families, communities, and the government due to healthcare costs, child welfare, and psychosocial support for victims. Moreover, the disruption of women’s productivity due to violence could impede overall economic growth.

The report emphasises the potential political consequences of the rising VAWG incidents. Violence targeting women and girls has the potential to trigger protests, civil unrest, and disruptions to governance and public services. Additionally, such violence can hinder women’s participation in politics and governance, undermining government efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment in the state.

The PIND report draws attention to the urgent need for comprehensive interventions to address gender-based violence and protect the rights and wellbeing of women and girls in Ondo State. Efforts to curb VAWG should involve a multifaceted approach encompassing law enforcement, education, healthcare, and community engagement. It is crucial that the state takes proactive measures to ensure a safer environment for all residents, regardless of gender.