By Ene Nnamdi, Abakaliki. THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that Ebonyi and Cross River states rank highest in cases of gender-based violence in Nigeria.
The UN body made the disclosure at a two-day dialogue and engagement with the media in Enugu on ending violence against women and girls organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ebonyi with support from European Union-United Nations (EU-UN) spotlight initiative.
According to the UNICEF Communication Specialist, Enugu Field Office, Mrs. Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, available statistics and records show that more women and girls were becoming victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country in this period of coronavirus forced lockdown, than it was in other times.
She said some sections of Nigeria’s constitution need to be amended to tackle the phenomenon and end it.
“Cross River and Ebonyi states have very high cases of Gender-Based Violence. This is not as it is happening in other parts of the country or elsewhere in the world.
“It has become pertinent that spotlight initiative in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency, Ebonyi bring this to the fore so that it is being looked into,” she said.
A speaker at the event, Dr. Chidi Ezinwa of the Department of Mass Communication, Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), who spoke on child right reporting and ethical response from the media, called for review of Evidence Act, which he stated was outdated and therefore presenting loopholes for rapists to escape justice.
He said: “When we look at our laws as it is now, for instance, the Evidence Act requires colloboration for a case of rape to be established. But, collaboration means that there must be an evidence of another party that witnessed a rape.
“Does it means that rape has become a party that when you want to rape someone, you invite people to come and witness it? So, such law should be reviewed.”