Calabar – The Cross River State Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with gender-based violence (GBV) response and prevention actors, has officially commenced the 2023 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The theme for this year’s campaign is “UNITE! INVEST TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.”
Hon. Commissioner of Women Affairs, Edoema Irom, in her address at the flag-off ceremony, emphasized the collective responsibility to advocate for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. The 16 Days of Activism, an annual event from November 25 to December 10, commemorates the tragic murder of 16 women from the Dominican Republic who were killed for their activism against gender-based violence.
The campaign also aligns with other significant events, including World Day for HIV prevention on December 1, International Day for Persons with Disability on December 3, and International Human Rights Day on December 10.
The Commissioner expressed gratitude to the Cross River State Government for implementing legal provisions such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law and the disability rights law. Acknowledging the efforts to establish an additional family court for hearing cases, she called for further support, including the passage of five gender bills at the national assembly.
Cross River State Ministry of Women Affairs Kicks Off 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence pic.twitter.com/1bzCu7vsrc
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The Ministry urged the media to publicize existing legislation and prosecuted cases, calling on security agencies and relevant government bodies to respond more swiftly to cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Additionally, the Commissioner called for the functionalization of the sexual offence register and swift dispensation of cases in the courts.
The Ministry emphasized the importance of collaboration between state and non-state actors, including NGOs and CBOs, to address gender-based violence effectively. The campaign aims to bring issues of gender-based violence to the forefront and work towards minimizing, if not eradicating, such incidents in the state.
The Commissioner concluded by expressing gratitude to Governor HE Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu for providing an enabling environment and thanked all partners for their support. The collective efforts are expected to contribute to the eradication of violence against women and girls in Cross River state.