Dr Mina Ogbanga leads Port Harcourt Road Show against gender-based violence


– Urges Commissioner of Women Affairs to join ‘Orange the World’

By Smith Nwokocha

Is it now He against She or She against He? Some organizations want such antagonisms leading to violence to be stopped.

Thus, the city of Port Harcourt vibrated in the early hours of Dec 5th but not for the usual violence of building collapse and deaths. It was rather a pleasure sight that drew the attention of the populace to a critical issue, how to stop gender-based violence. This is in commemoration of the 2018 UN’s International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence tagged “Orange the World : #HearMeToo, #Orangetheworld, #16DaysNG.

The city would still hear more of this as other events are lined up on December 7 and 10, 2018. The Road Walk was from Abuloma CEDSI Avenue to Ministry of Women Affairs, Rivers State, where the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Barr (Mrs) Ukel Oyaghiri, and her principal staff received the team.

Dr Ogbnaga asked the Hon. Commissioner to join the “Orange the World” and made it clear that Gender-based violence should be eliminated. She handed the 10-points Declaration and Resolutions from CEDSI with support from PIND (Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta).

The key points which the state government now has to contend with as handed in by Dr Ogbanga that: Increased awareness amongst the male folks be made to addressing misconceptions around the thick line between ‘chastise and Gender based violence’’; Effort by development actors need to be made to mainstream the participation of men (He For She) in the fight against gender-based violence; Just like women, men too have been violated in different forms therefore their needs on how these can be addressed need to be put into the overall action plan.

Other points include the need for Civil Society and Governments, etc to ensure the vision for CEDAW and related protocols are achieved in a sustainable manner; That we need to catch them young by taking the preventive messages on Gender based violence against women and girls to the high schools and colleges; Providing a voice also for youths to express their hidden fears or experiences, and many other points.

The Commissioner appreciated the efforts of groups fighting to eliminate violence in the society. “Women are more violated and sometimes they don’t talk. We need to do more advocacy to break the silence. The Government of Rivers State has walls in place for people who are violated. We have our collaborators such as FIDA (women lawyers). Most victims of violence have nothing doing. We need to encourage our girls to go to school and our youths to engage in meaningful activities, not militancy and kidnapping.”

Dr Ogbanga went round the city with her team including Timber Market areas where she preached against gender-based violence. “Say NO to violence. #StopViolence. The world should be free from violence. Sexual harassment is uncalled for, seek consent. Sexual violence should stop, say NO to sexual violence. We want a world filled with peace.”