The National President of the Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN, Most Rev. Benebo Fubara Fubara-Manuel yesterday said the communal clashes in many regions of the country, kidnapping, and mindless brutalization/ killings by herdsmen contributed to the increase in the violence against women and girls.
He tasked the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly address the menace of unemployment of youths and poverty, which according to him were contributing to the insecurity and vices in the country.
President Fubara-Manuel made this known while briefing journalists in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State during the kick-off of the enlightenment program on ending violence against women and girls as part of the 3EU-UN spotlight initiative of the Christian Council of Nigeria in collaboration with UNICEF.
The enlightenment program with the team, “The role of Faith-based organization in ending violence against women and girls” had various Church leaders selected from 13 LGAs of the state as participants.
According to him: “The poverty of many homes exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the inter-tribal and communal clashes in many regions of the country, the menace of kidnapping and mindless brutalization and killings by some herdsmen. All these combine to bring undue suffering to the masses including women and girls in our country.
The President further noted that the government at all levels are not doing much to end gender-based violence, “We recognize that violence has taken an aggressive form in many facets of our society in recent times due to the increasing rate of unemployment of many young people,” he said.
He tasked church leaders in Ebonyi State to shun every church event that will bring harmful practices to women and girls but discuss the way forward on bringing solutions to the menace of gender-based violence.
“Coming out as the CCN, we are convinced that ending violence against women and girls is a possibility. We believe that our Churches have been part of the problem and so, should be part of the solution. We challenge the patriarchal systems long embedded into the fabric of the faith confessions of our historic Churches and reject every supposedly “godly” blessing hitherto given to violence against women and girls.
Most Rev. Benebo, however, lambasted government for failing to tackle violence against women and girls: “We are not convinced that the governments of the nations of our world are sufficiently tackling the challenges with respect to violence against women and girls. Clearly, our country is not winning in this battle. But it should win.
“We have all it takes to have a secure country and to end all forms of violence especially those against women and girls. The political and social systems are not skewed in favour of women and girls but rather against them. The religious systems worsen their plight even when claiming to be the agents of liberation. We regret all these and set ourselves on the path of change.
“We commit, therefore, to directly, personally and communally opposing all systems of marginalization that we have inherited or set up or that we are presently designing or setting up. We commit to promoting practices and establishing institutions that would allow women and girls to flourish in all ways – spiritually, physically, sexually, emotionally, and psychologically.
“We name Violence Against Women and Girls as a real evil confronting all communities in our country today. We admit that it happens in our homes, institutions, religious organizations,” he noted.