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Gender violence: NUJ urges govts to establish social courts

The President of NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, has urged government at all levels to establish social courts for gender violence in the country.

By Vivian Emoni

The President of Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, on Thursday urged government at all levels to establish social courts for gender violence in the country.

Isiguzo made the call in Abuja during a one-day training for gender reporters and activists on “How to Report Sexual and Gender Based violence in the society.

He also criticized the practice of cross-dressers, adding that the act was becoming rampant and unbearable in the society.

According to him, it has become necessary that government at all levels must establish social courts for the trial of people that are involved in any form of violence in the society.

“The establishment will make it easier for violent issues to be attended to at the right time.

“If we continue to leave it to the open courts, of course, we all know how we go about with our judicial system in the country.

“Maybe we will start the case today and end it in the next 20 years and by that time the essence of the trial in the first place would have been defeated.

“That is why it is important that we have the courts just like tribunal courts; when we do election, we have such tribunals that election matters will be attended to.

“So, the social courts will be able to handle these violent cases.

“There is another thing that is becoming a dangerous threat and we seem to be overlooking it.

“It is the issue of cross-dressers. It is becoming a major challenge to us today.

“If you go through the social media today you will see one man that is so much in a hurry to transform to a woman and if they tell you what they went through, you will be so amazed.

“Therefore, National Association of Women of Journalists (NAWOJ) must engage on strong crusades to fight against this terrible act.

“It is very sad, we cannot continue like this because if we keep harboring this act, in the next 10 years, all men will now aspire to become women.

“The result at the end is going to be dangerous to our society,’’ he said.

The president advised the participants to pay attention to enable them to acquire better knowledge on how to report gender issues effectively, adding that it would help to reduce issues of violence in the country.

Ladi Bala, National President, NAWOJ, while addressing the participants, said that Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) was a complex societal issue that had imparted on the society negatively.

Bala said that the act had also adversely affected the dignity of survivors and violated their fundamental human rights.

“It is saddening to note that the issue of SGBV is now a pandemic and poses huge challenge to the development efforts judging by the increasing number of cases of violence against women and girls.

“Even boys are not left out.

“The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has further worsened the situation due to the lock down, a development that led to an increase in the cases.

“Available statistics show that one in every five women and one out of 71 men, must have experienced one form of SGBV in their lifetime.

“Most worrisome is the fact that most of the times, the survivor is left to wallow in pain while the perpetrator goes about scot-free,’’ she said.

She said that the training was aimed at enhancing the capacity of reporters by providing in-depth knowledge and skills on thematic areas.

She gave such areas as poverty, democratic governance, investigating journalism, and security of journalists among others.

Also, Mrs Rebecca Ukpero, NAWOJ member, who spoke on behalf of the participants, said that the training would increase the knowledge of participants on gender issues in the country.

Ukpero said that the training would also help survivors get justice and change the narrative of silence and stigmatisation. (NAN)

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