Cross River State has been noted to lead the chart on sexual and gender-based violence with a horrible 42% in the South-South region.
Speaking during the inter-schools debate as one of the activities on the 16 days of activism against sexual and gender-based violence in Calabar, the organizations got critical about the inability of victims to speak out.
The United Nations Population Find’s Reproductive Health and Family planning analyst, Dr Abayomi Afe Named the figure in percentage.
“Cross River State has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the South-South region, about 42% and Cross River state is very diverse in terms of cultural practices and money marriage too is practised in Cross River.
“So bringing this advocacy to young people like this is to raise awareness about some of these harmful practices that are promoting Gender violence.
“We want the young people to know that there are people they can run to or talk to about their experiences. We want them to speak out and know that there are agencies and organizations that can help them fight gender-based violence.
“I am sure since we have hit hard on the subject, that there are leaving this place with a great sense of awareness and resolutions to kick out sexual and gender-based violence.
” In Cross River, the statistics of gender-based violence is still on a very high side, although we are still using 2018, national demographic survey statistics, other studies have shown that within the period of the pandemic, that is 2020 and now, gender-based violence has really gone up.
“In an average home, one in every three women experience gender-based violence. In some places, is even 2 out of 3. This is because, during the pandemic, everyone was at home.
“We are going to scale out to more schools by next year. We are using a Snow Ball approach to do this advocacy. Gender-based violence can happen to anybody, irrespective of class or status, so let is not cover it up. Let us speak out,” he said.
Also speaking to Journalists, at the West African Peoples Institute WAPI in Calabar, the Programmes Officer, Gender And Development Action GADA, who is one of the implementing partners of Spotlight Initiative, Miss. Amaugo Praise Kadibia argued that the state should face the issue and not cover gender-based violence.
“You can see from the debate that the issue of gender-based violence is hiding in our cultures, but we Need to leave cultural, tradition, religion and social society as a perspective and focus on the act, Let us take responsibility for four actions.
“A rapist is a rapist, rape is a crime against both society and culture, so let’s face the issue. Any individual that perpetrates the act should take responsibility because it is a violation of human rights,” she said.
Some of the organizations pushing for the 16 days of activism include Spotlight Initiative, Gender And Development Action GADA, United Actions population Fund UNPF, amongst others.
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