Mrs Safiya Aliyu, the President, Upper Area Court II Lokoja, on Monday urged women in the country not only to speak out against sexual and physical violence but also avoid triggering such acts by their actions.
Aliyu gave the advice in a paper she presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Kogi chapter, in Lokoja.
The theme of the AGM was: ”Confronting Sexual And Physical Violence Against Women And Children: We Can Do Better.”
Aliyu defined physical violence or abuse as any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person or animal by way of body contact.
She explained that sexual violence was an act or attempt to obtain coitus by violence or coercion; ”act to traffic a person or acts directed against a person’s sexuality, regardless of the relationship to the victim.”
She said that sexual and physical violence are forms of gender-based violence; a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality and continued to be one of the most notable human rights abuses.
Aliyu, however, advised women to be careful not to trigger violence at home, in schools or workplaces, but to be peace makers and study the mood of their husbands, colleagues, bosses, acquaintances and others.
She further urged them to avoid saying the wrong word at the wrong time, and should not destroy their husbands or children for selfish reasons by peddling destructive falsehood against them.
Aliyu stressed that the society could do better in confronting sexual and physical violence against women and children by improving justice system, education and encouraging decent dressing.
She urged parents to instill the fear of God in their children from childhood.
”The time has come for women to speak out against sexual and physical violence. We have FIDA to fight our cause, not just in Kogi State, but all over the world.
”Women are created to be loved and treated with respect,” she said.
Aliyu enjoined all stakeholders to join hands in speaking up against and preventing sexual and physical violence against women and children.
Also in his lecture, Barr. Abdullahi Zakari, the Director General, Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC), blamed women’s oppression on patriarchy.
Zakari, however, said that women empowerment will reduce violence against them and their children.
Earlier, the Chairperson of FIDA in Kogi, Barr. Lilian Ajuma, noted that the speakers at the occasion were carefully selected for their ability to effectively deal with the topic.
According to her, the theme of the AGM is apt as it is germane to women and as women lawyers whose most potent weapon for the protection of women and children are legislations.
Ajuma solicited for the continued support of the relevant stakeholders to make the women federation more productive in promoting their objectives.
The highlight of the programme is the official recognition of FIDA Kogi patrons.
The Acting Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Henry Olusiyi, was decorated as the Grand Patron, while the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mohammed SAN; and the DG of PDCRC, Barr. Zakari, were both decorated as patrons.
The Chief Judge, who responded on behalf of the recipients, pledged his continued support and assistance to FIDA in the state.