The Ebonyi government has prosecuted 18 persons over Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state between January and November 2022.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Deborah Okah, disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference to commemorate the 2022 16-day activism in Abakaliki. Ms Okah said some of the arraigned persons had been convicted of the crime. She said, with the amended Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in place, the commission will intensify efforts to fight against offenders of GBV in the state.
The commissioner added that the acts against women and girls remain the most pervasive human rights violation worldwide. The commissioner reassured of the state government’s commitment towards fighting to halt violence against women and girls in the state.
“Before now, cases of GBV were under-reported in the state, but thanks to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for collaborating with foundations for resilient empowerment and development to establish a GBV situation room in the ministry which provides a GBV dashboard for reporting cases,” Ms Okah said.
She commended the governor’s wife, Rachael Umahi, for her efforts, which led to the enactment of the VAPP law in 2018 and further sought the amendment of some sections of the law for quick dispensation of justice. Ms Okah further appreciated Mrs Umahi for establishing the GBV court to hear and determine matters on gender-based offences.
She also commended the donor agency, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), for its assistance to the state government.
The commissioner, however, disclosed that the ministry and other key actors in the state have embarked on critical sensitisation of the public on the consequences of GBV, like continuous capacity building and monitoring of GBV actors in the state to eliminate the acts.
Benedict Essong, the representative of the UNFPA in the state, said it remains committed to its 2030 development agenda of zero preventable maternal death, unmet need for family planning and zero GBV, among other harmful practices.