PRESS BRIEFING BY THE RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS ON BEHALF OF THE WOMEN IN PEACE AND SECURITY NETWORK ON THE 2014 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS (VAWGs)/THE 16DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE FROM NOVEMBER 25TH TO 10TH DECEMBER, 2014

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Today, the Women in Peace and Security Network joins the international community to commemorate the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and the subsequent 16days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. The global theme for this year’s campaign is “FROM PEACE IN THE HOME TO PEACE IN THE WORLD; LET’S CHALLENGE MILITARISM AND END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

This event is a clarion call on all responsible citizens of this state to join the campaign on zero tolerance to Gender Based Violence. Violence in its entirety is an anti-social behaviour, which violates the rights of people to peaceful co-existence.

This campaign will focus on relevant actions to be taken to end Gender Based Violence and Militarism. We all need freedom from fear intimidation, harassment and exploitation at all levels, we will be committed to advocate against;

  • Violence Perpetrated by State Actors
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Sexual abuse
  • Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls during and after conflicts
  • Proliferation of small arms in cases of intimate partner violence
  • Violence Against Widows through harmful traditional and cultural practices

Sexual Violence against women and Girls forces them into perpetual insecure lives, it dehumanizes women and girls, alters their chances of development and exposes them to social stigma.

Here in Nigeria, we are all aware of the capture of over 200 School girls from Chibok community in Bornu State, the North-East of Nigeria, by the Boko Haram insurgents. These girl’s human rights have been violated and stand the chance to face stigmatization by the society even when they survive this ordeal. This is a great loss to their families and the nation as a whole.

We there for need to implement Rivers State Action Plan, Adopted from the National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). This State Action Plan was put together by the Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with Gender and Development Action under the auspices of the Women in Peace and Security Network, Rivers State, through stakeholder consolations and participation, with support from the Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Program.

The Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women Peace and Security was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on the 31st of October, 2000.

The National Action Plan has Five Pillars adopted for achieving peace, security and the protection of women and girls from violence, they include; Prevention, Participation, Protection, Promotion, and prosecution.

The Women in Peace and Security Network has a wide coalition of peace advocates in Rivers State. Peace indeed is a panacea to progress. The commemoration of the international day for the elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and the subsequent 16days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Rivers State is supported by the Nigerian stability and Reconciliation Program and involves the following groups supporting the Women in Peace and security Network;

  • The Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs
  • Gender and Development Action
  • The Nigeria Police Force
  • The Nigeria security and Civil Defence Corps
  • The National Human Rights Commission
  • Gender and Development Action
  • The International Federation of Women Lawyers, Rivers State Chapter
  • The National Association of Women Journalist, Rivers State
  • Tonto Dikeh Foundation
  • Rivers State Islamic Sisters Association
  • Stakeholder Democracy Network
  • The Niger Delta Anti-Corruption Network
  • BigGLO Concept
  • PalmpitsIPWC
  • Child Protection Network
  • Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development
  • Rivers State youth Federation
  • 9 Garden City Radio, Port-Harcourt
  • Nigeria Info 92.3fm Port-Harcourt
  • Treasure FM 98.5 Port-Harcourt
  • And other stakeholders too numerous too numerous to mention.

 

The 16days activism will feature launch of a 16days mock safe space for reporting, counselling, and referral centre for Survivors of Violence against Women and Girls in the Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs, from the 26th of November 2014 to the 9th of December 2014, run by the Women in Peace and Security Network.

Within the 16days of Activism, help lines will also be open for people to report cases of violence perpetrated against women and girls. The help lines will provide information on protection and prevention mechanisms with regards to VAWGs and referral information.

Violence Against Women and Girls Help lines For Rivers State: 08183719465 09098262122 07032853975

We therefore appeal to all citizens of Rivers State to work towards reducing violence at all levels and embrace peace to achieve accelerated, sustainable development in Rivers State.

Finally we enjoin everyone to be an advocate of peace where ever we find ourselves

Thank you and God bless

 

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