News The African Way

Child Rape: Muslim Women Advocate Girl-Child Entrepreneurial Skills To Curb Menace

By Iyakale Yakubu
imageJos (Nigeria) — A faith-based NGO, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) has advocated the strengthening of entrepreneurial skills of the girl-child to curb rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence against them.

Worried by the same, a recent meeting of Attorney Generals from northern Nigeria had proposed death penalty for perpetrators of such acts.
FOMWAN’s leader in Plateau State, north central Nigeria, Mairo Sani, took the stand at an advocacy visit to another NGO, Media Coalition on Sexual Gender Based – Violence.

“The girl-child must be trained to know her rights and be self-reliant to minimise chances of such abuse,” Sani said.

She attributed causes of such violence against the girl-child in northern Nigeria to exposure of children to petty trading and hawking on the streets, in the name of helping parents who are poor.

“The girl-child is most vulnerable to sexual violence because she is usually sent to hawk goods on the streets and is thus exposed to hooligans who may rape them.

“Such cases are not reported because the victims are stigmatized in the society and the security agencies frustrate the efforts of complainants since they are usually less privileged,” she said.

She said FOMWAN has gone into partnership with the Child Protection Network (CPN), curb the incidences and had since commenced sensitization programmes on sexual violence.

In her remarks, Mrs Jumoke Olajide, leader of the Coalition, said the visit was to liaise with likeminded groups in the fight against sexual gender violence so as to give voices to the voiceless in the society.

She said that the Coalition had advocated stricter measures for offenders of such abuses, and stressed the need for the implementation of the sex and equal opportunity bill, which had just been passed in Plateau.

“Implementing the law will address the menace of sexual and gender-based violence,”she said.

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