Edo State Government has mobilised women at the grassroots across the state to lend their voices against gender-based violence, urging them to speak up against the menace.
Speaking during a rally organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, held in Oria, Esan South East Local Government Area, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Magdalene Ohenhen, said that the charge was necessary to ensure that the vulnerable in the society will be assured that there are structures available to protect them.
She said the rally was organised by the Ministry as part of activities lined up for the 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, themed ‘Hear Me Too.’
Participants at the rally included chairpersons and presiding officers of the Ministry in the different local government areas.
The commissioner noted that the time has come for women who are victims of gender-based violence to come out of the closet and stop suffering in silence.
She said that women must speak up because chances are that remaining silent might prove too costly.
“We have observed that some women don’t like to speak out. We also know that there are dangers in not speaking out because we have seen cases of death being recorded as a result of women not speaking out. We are no longer going to encourage or tolerate that. That is why we came out today with women across the state to deliberate on the way forward,” Ohenhen said.
The commissioner commended Governor Godwin Obaseki and his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, for their support, adding that the idea behind the crusade is to ensure that women, as home builders, live in safer homes.
Guest Speaker, Ambassador Chief (Mrs.) Marian Kadiri Ezolome, explained that violence against women, which may be physical, emotional or psychological, include rape, defilement, child marriage, human trafficking, among others.
She urged women to do away with the culture of silence arising from fear and stigmatisation, noting that keeping silent often end up causing more harm than good.
Ezolome praised the commissioner for organising the event to encourage women to come out and speak out.