Ebonyi First Lady Leads Walk Against Increased Cases of Gender-Based Violence

- Joyce Onuora, Abakaliki

The Wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs Mary-Maudline Nwifuru has vehemently condemned increased cases of gender-based violence in the State, calling for concerted frantic efforts to ruthlessly deal with the menace.

Chief Mrs Nwifuru made the appeal on Wednesday November 29, 2023 in Abakaliki, during an awareness road walk to commemorate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence; with the theme, Unite, Invest, to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.

The first Lady who through her office and foundation, Better Health for Rural Women Children and Internally Displaced Persons Foundation (BERWO), Collaborated with the State ministry of women affairs and social development, world Health organization and the State GBV taskforce to organise the sensitization walk that took place within major areas across the State capital, used the opportunity to assure all concerned that her office will do all it can to provide justice to victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and other harmful practices in the State, saying her pet project, BERWO would do everything possible within their disposal to address challenging harmful gender norms, promote healthy relationships, constant education as well as strengthening laws and policies that protect women rights. 

"As we unite to end violence against vunerable groups, the theme shows that there is urgent need to invest, prevent and combat the deeply rooted issues of the trend," she said.

In her advocacy visit to the State House of Assembly, the wife of the Governor explained the need to review the act that established, Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP), so as to effect positive change in the society.

Responding, the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Moses Odunwa,  expressed readiness of the legislative arm to amend and implement the law to ensure proper eradication of the negative practices in the State.

In his remark during the commissioning of the Gender based Violence Centre, Dr Robinson Onoh, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki,  assured support in ensuring that the fight against GBV in the State is won. 

Dr Onoh applauded Gov Francis Nwifuru and his wife for his proactive steps taken to end violence against persons in the State and the zeal in providing better health for Ebonyi residents. 

"We all are expected to team-up and unite against all forms of violence and gender inequality," Onoh stated. He urged all stakeholders, civil society organisations, among other groups to team up and unite in ending the shameful practice in the State.

In her speech, Mrs Goodness Mbaja, the State Public Relations Officer, GBV Taskforce, stated that the commemoration of the 2023 edition of 16 days, is a global awareness to end violence against vunerable persons and promised not to relent in continuous sensitisation for the eradication of GBV in the State.

In her part, Mrs Felicia Nwankpuma, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development commended Mrs Nwifuru and development partners for the laudable initiative.

Mrs Nwifuru during the enlightenment campaign, paid advocacy visit to Ebonyi State judiciary, traditional leaders council among others, for the sensitisation and eradication of the ugly trend.

The event featured road walk with over 100 Civil Society organisations in the State participating, and commissioning of a GBV centre at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, New complex. END

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