Christian council of Nigeria (CCN) in collaboration with UNICEF under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative with relevant Stakeholders in Adamawa state had a meeting on ending violence against women and girls.
The one day brainstorming meeting held at Muna Hotel in Yola with the keynote address centred on how the world became evil and people are living in a perverse generation of inhumanity against human.
In his keynote address, the General Secretary of CCN, Very Rev. Evans Onyemara, Ph.D while addressing stakeholders said gender-based violence (GBV) can be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, and economic or educational deprivation whether occurring in public or private life against women and girls.
According to him violence against women and girls can have serious physical, mental, economic, and social repercussions. Given sexual violence as an example of Major cause of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and STI transmission, as well as isolation and depression.
“It can also prevent survivors from achieving economic prosperity because of stigma or physical and psychological trauma caused by the violence. The prevalence of gender-based violence worldwide is largely due to systemic gender inequality that disempowers women, girls, and stifles their voices so that their stories are not heard and or believed and their natural human rights can be more easily taken away.” Evans said
He however worried how women themselves are also contributing in the perpetuation of obnoxious practices against their fellow women either based on ignorance or based on the inherited patriarchal worldview which until recently many women have not dared to question.
He further said that CCN in 2017 collaborated with UNICEF on Ending Violence against Children (ENDVAC), currently making much efforts on the issue of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG).
“The continuation in this area suggests that we still have some “unconquered territories” which offers us the opportunity to appraise how the Church has effectively used her machinery (church pulpits, Schools, Departments and Arms) to propagate the education of our people on ending violence in our Nigerian Society.
“CCN is here to further create awareness and ask all our member churches in Adamawa to rise and condemn all kinds of violence against women and girls still found in our Nigerian society. All cultural, traditional and religious beliefs that continues to limit women and girls from living out their full potentials must be revisited and pulled down. This is the overall objective of this Project.
“The project will be focusing on Mubi North and Yola North. We are expected to raise the awareness of our people towards these evident evils in our society and resolve to become champions or voices for our women and girls.
“The time has come to end the culture of silence. Perpetrators must be exposed so that the menace can end. It is our prayer that you would become voices in Adamawa to speak out and in favour of our women and girls at all levels of our existence as a people of faith.” He said
Also in his keynote address, the CCN Adamawa State Chairman, Dean (Rev) Harimas Othniel worried that we are living in a world that is filled with all kinds of violence, and Nigeria never a single day one does not hear of one form of violence or the other against the less privileged also against those in positions of power and affluence.
Othniel during the meeting drew the attention of participants to understand there are sexual violence, psychological violence, cultural violence, emotional
violence, spiritual violence against Women and Girls.
“This meeting is meant to share knowledge and build capacity on what we as a church expected to do in order to address the issues of ending violence against women and Girls.” He said
One of the participants, Archbishop Marcus Ibrahim Anfani of Jos Anglican Communion Church Diocese reiterated Religious leaders, especially Pastors and all Church leaders must use the pulpit to end all forms of violence.
He further responded to Journalists during the meeting that the social vices are end of age signs and they must surface for the World to come to an end