…NBA, NHRC, CSOs pledge support

Cultural and religious norms have been identified as factors that contribute to high prevalence of gender-based violence against women in society.

The Program Director, Center for the Right to Health, Mr. Bede Eziefule gave the hint, during a capacity-building workshop in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Eziefule who also noted that there were cultural and religious norms that could be harnessed to prevent GBV against women especially those with disabilities, charged  Women Rights and Disability Rights Organizations to understand the power of intersectionality and work collaboratively to engage with cultural and religious gatekeepers towards prevention of GBV against women.

The Program Director  expressed dismay that 41.4% of women aged 15-49, according to Demographic and Health Survey of 2018, experienced violence, fueled by deep-rooted sociocultural norms such as male child preference, high bride price, female genital mutilation, widowhood practices,  inheritance rights among others.

He informed that Center for the Right to Health was in the state on a two year project, centered on preventing violence against women with disability.

He pledged the organization’s commitment to promote respect for ethics and human rights in health care policies and practices, especially for vulnerable groups such as people living with HIV/AIDS, women, youths, children, persons with disabilities and many others.

Vice Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Owerri Branch and Chairman, Human Rights Committee Imo State, Barr Chioma Emuka defined GBV as those violence targeted towards women because of their gender as being the weaker vessels.

She said human rights are inalienable and called against discrimination of any sort because of gender.   

President, National Association of Disabled Women, Imo State Chapter, Korie Blessing was full of excitement following the presence of Center for the Right to Health in Imo State due to what she described as high rate of violence against women with disabilities in the state.

“Our members have been dying in silence, I used to get series of complain from them”, Korie said while particularly mentioning domestic violence as the most common abuse against women with disabilities.

The workshop was attended by Imo State Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission – Mrs Justina Okeke and the Executive Directors of sister NGOs.

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