Residents of Osun State on Tuesday held a peaceful rally against gender-based violence (GBV) and called for the implementation of the law prohibiting it.
The rally was part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence to raise awareness against any form of violence against women and girls in particular.
Market women, school children and members of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the state joined the rally on the major streets of Osogbo, the state capital.
The procession, which took off from the popular Nelson Mandela Freedom Park moved to Oke-Fia area and terminated at Osogbo Grammar School. It was organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Action Health Incorporated (AHI).
Meanwhile Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has charged the State Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Management Committee to set up mechanisms that would ensure the sustenance of the gains achieved in the fight against sexual abuse and Gender-Based Violence beyond the tenure of his administration.
Governor Fayemi gave the charge in Ado-Ekiti when the State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee led by its chairperson, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, presented the 2021 report of the Committee to him as part of activities marking the global 16 days of activism against GBV.
The Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs in the state, Mrs Rihanat Olubukola Olaboopo, the Coordinating Director in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr. Jide Falade, the Gender Desk Officer in the Ministry, Lola Adewale and the Chairman of Osun State House Committee on Women, Children and Social Affairs, Honorable Mulikat Abiola led the rally.
The Chairman of Network of NGOs in the State, Mr Michael Ebofin, the UNFPA Gender/FGM Analyst Uzoma Ayodeji and AHI Program Officer, Arinola Alabi also participated the the rally.
Olaboopo said said the campaign was necessary to educated people of Osun on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law passed by the State House of Assembly and signed by the Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.
She warned people of Osun to desist from indulging in female circumcision so as not to run foul of the law.
The VAPP law was passed by the Osun Assembly in July with the advocacy efforts of the Wife of the Governor, Kafayat Oyetola and other stakeholders and signed by Governor Oyetola in October strengthened the punishment for the practice of FGM with a four years jail term for violators.
Sections 7 of the VAPP law stipulates that a person who performs FGM or engages another to carry out FGM commits an offence and liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November to 10 December.