It’s the International day for the elimination of Violence Against Women; the day for us all to #OrangetheWorld.
From psychological to physical and then physiological trauma, many young women have experienced pain as a result of violence. Even as laws have been enacted to mitigate such dastardly acts against women, we still have case upon case resurfacing.
The Child Rights Act in Nigeria states the age of a child as anyone below 18years old. However, 43% of girls are married off before the age of 18. 17% are married before they turn 15 (Wikipedia), resulting in VVF, high mortality rate and a continued rise in the number of out of school girls. Nigeria is alarmingly number 11 in the ranks of countries with forced child marriage.
The media has amplified the stories of women murdered by their husbands, thereby seeking justice for them. A CLEEN Foundation’s 2012 National Crime and Safety Survey shows a nationwide increase in domestic violence in the past 3 years from 21% in 2011 to 30% in 2013.
In a society as patriarchal as Africa, the media has a responsibility to change the narrative of women being subservient to men. We see this suppression in work places where women are objectified, and hardly given as much merit as men. How many companies have a fair representation of women on their governing boards?
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is another cultural ezcuse for violence against women. Often carried out by fellow women, girls are some are subjected to acute pain, bleeding, are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and other complications including VVF. Statistics by 28toomany shows that 82% of women aged 15–49 who have undergone FGM were cut before the age of five.
The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 (the VAPP Act) criminalises the procurement, arrangement and/or assistance of acts of FGM. The highest term that can served by a convict is 2 years, and a fine not more than N100,000. Is this enough deterrent? It is currently impossible to trace any cases of conviction.
As you step out today, wear a touch of orange in solidarity with the cause. This colour symbolises a world free from violence against women and girls.
Orange your world. Orange the world . Let’s speak and act against violence against women and girls. Let’s end violence against women.
Photo: Daily News Egypt