Dr. Amina Bello, Wife of Niger State Governor, has called for speedy dispensation of rape cases and death penalty for convicted rapists.
Bello, who is also the Chairperson of the Wives of Northern Governors Forum, made the call during the one-week campaign against rape and gender-based violence organised by the National Human Rights Commission and other Civil Society Organisations in Minna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that activists carried placards with inscriptions such as: “NHRC says no to rape; Rape is a crime not a family matter; Believe and support rape survivors; and Rape is a crime and a rapist is a criminal.”
Bello, who was represented by Hajiya Mariam Kolo, Director-General of the Niger State Child Rights Protection Agency, said violence affects both female and male genders, but the female tends to suffer most.
She said: “Violence on women is mainly done by an intimate partner, women who are subjected to violence are at risk of depression and anxiety.”
She stressed the need for a strong political will and appealed to government at all levels to invest and support women organisations against the scourge.
She suggested strengthening of laws and policies that would add value to women and bring a gradual end to violence against women.
She called for the need to dismantle the foundation of gender inequality arising from religious, traditional and customary beliefs.
In his address, Nuhu Mohammed, the State Coordinator of the NHRC, disclosed that about 70 per cent of women in the country face physical and sexual violence in their lifetime.
Mohammed said: “The effects of violence can remain with women and girls for a lifetime and can be passed from one generation to another.
“Studies have shown that children who have been subjected to violence are more likely to become victims or abusers themselves.”
Mohammed advocated for rape survivors to have access to good health facilities to administer emergency medical care such as treatment to prevent HIV, unwanted pregnancies and counseling.
He called on other collaborative agencies to take up the task of fighting for rape victims and called for stiffer punishment for perpetrators of rape and violence against women.