National Association of Seadogs, popularly known as the Pyrates Confraternity, Katamaran Deck, on Friday, urged the National Assembly to strive to immediately embark on making laws to stop violence and gender bias against women and girls in the country.
The Katamaran Deck said lawmakers at the various the state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly should expunge from the constitution all laws promoting gender discrimination in Nigeria.
It specifically said Federal lawmakers should ensure that such bills seeking to end gender discrimination in the country’s 1999 Constitution, including citizenship for foreign husbands of Nigerian women, “statelessness” of married Nigerian women, 35 per cent affirmative action in party administration and leadership, 35 per cent political appointment positions for women and diaspora voting are given expeditious passage in the National Assembly.
Doing so it said would assist in breaking the bias against women and the girl-child in the country.
Capoon of the Katamaran Deck comprising Ijebu and Remo lands with secretariat in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Mr Olumide Fagbohunka, stated this in commemoration of the 2022 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
He noted that violence against women and girls had become one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in societies across the world.
Fagbohunka expressed regrets that violence against women is the most extreme form of discrimination, adding that gender inequality had become persistent in the workplace, amongst family members, in schools and the society in general.
He stated that nearly 30 per cent of women in Nigeria have fallen victims of gender-based violence, expressing regrets that women and girls abducted by terrorists and bandits in Northern Nigeria are usually raped and forced into marriage by their captors.
Fagbohunka noted, “In Nigeria, 36 per cent of ever-married women have experienced intimate partner violence. This kind of violence involves physical, sexual and emotional violence. 29 per cent of ever-married women who have experienced intimate partner violence sustained injuries varying from cuts and bruises to deep wounds and other serious injuries.
“On the other hand, there is a poor attitudinal response to violence among Nigerian women. More than half of women (55 per cent) who have experienced physical or sexual violence have never sought help to stop the violence. Only 32 per cent have sought help, many of which come from victims’ families.”
He, however, further stated that if violence against women would be eliminated, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls would be achieved, more strenuous efforts, including legal frameworks must be put in place to counter deeply root discrimination against the female gender in our society.
The Katamaran Deck Capoon, therefore, argued that if the state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly ensured the quick passage of such bills championing the cause of the womenfolk, it would go a long way in changing the current narratives and the violence women experience in their efforts to protect their rights and achieve gender equality and equity.
Fagbohunka warned that the country cannot make meaningful progress without carrying along its women and girls as equal partners.
He said this year’s theme for the celebration of the day, “Unite! Activism To End Violence Against Women,” should serve as a wake-up call and an awareness that should place the responsibility on Nigerian lawmakers at both the state and Federal levels to legislate against all forms of violence against gender and bias, gender stereotypes and gender inequality in the larger society and ensure their passages into law.
He added that the lawmakers must contribute their own quota towards the collective efforts to ensure the creation of an all-encompassing society in which men and women have equal representation and treated equally without any form of violence and discrimination.
According to him, “Recently, data shows that 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or families. In comparison, only 1 out of 20 men shared the same fate.
“On this occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2022, Katamaran Deck is offering an avenue to nurture ideas and give visibility to solutions that work to eradicate women violence at the 2030 horizon with a high-level roundtable and a master class for youths.
“In our little efforts to raise the awareness among a wide audience, our Advocacy campaign is thus expected to stop the following: intimate partner violence (battery, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment; human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation); female genital mutilation; and child marriage.
“It is our expectation that in our own little way, more citizens will be informed about women violence and efforts to take in averting it so that women can live peacefully in our society.
“We will continue to strive to work with the various relevant legislative bodies at both the Federal and state levels, relevant stakeholders, individuals and families in various communities in our society to surmount the barriers and stop the biases inhibiting the efforts to end violence against women and girls.
“We, therefore, want to use the opportunity of today’s celebration to encourage our lawmakers and governments at the state and Federal levels to be dedicated and committed to eliminating violence, discrimination and bias against women and girls and rather make the deliberate efforts to empower them.
“So, we must all work towards ensuring women and girls exercise their rights without any let or hindrance, express themselves freely, given the freedom to determine and live their lives freely without any form of intimidation, harassment, threat or violence. Giving them all these freedom from gender discrimination and bias will make our society and the world a better place.”
Every year, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed around the world on November 25. It is aimed at raising awareness regarding an ongoing human rights issue, highlight, discuss and call states, governments and other stakeholders to take actions on the challenges and issues facing violence against women across the world.
The highlight of the day’s celebration by the Katamaran Deck was the Advocacy campaign and walk carried out by its members, who distributed flyers in the Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State to create awareness of the public to the need to combat and stop gender violence and discrimination.