Rape Cases in Africa Alarming, Says FIDA

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has expressed concern over the increasing cases of rape and other violence against women and girls in Africa, describing it as alarming.

Regional Vice President (West & North Africa) FIDA, Mrs. Victoria Awomolo (SAN), who raised the alarm however called on the Nigeria Police and other law enforcement agencies to apply relevant laws in curtailing the menace.

She gave the warning on Wednesday during a press briefing with judiciary correspondents in Abuja, Wednesday.

The media parley, according to Mrs Awolomo, was part of activities preparatory to Nigeria’s hosting of FIDA Africa Regional Congress 2019, from the 11-15th October, 2019.

While speaking on gender and sexual violence; particularly the rape of minors, rising wave of incest as well as the need to create a level-playing field in politics for women, Awomolo lamented that the status of women and children in Africa has not changed.

“The status of women and children has not changed much in Africa. We still have many cases of discrimination against women in the homes, cultural practices don’t favour us, in workplaces, we are also discriminated upon,” she said.
Acccording to her, one issue that is currently in the front burner is gender violence.

“Gender violence is becoming rampant now, particularly the case of rape. Minors are being defiled on a daily basis, and we have to create awareness to put an end to this dastardly act.
“You now see fathers raping their daughters, and uncles raping infants; a child as young as 6 months is now being raped and one wonders why,” she said.

The Regional Vice President, who was elected in 2017 at the FIDA Convention in Bahamas, said the theme of the Africa regional congress is, “The Growth of Women and Children in Africa Beyond Rhetorics.”.

She said what informed the theme was the many discussions on the status of women and children in Africa, particularly Nigeria.

She said the FIDA Africa Regional Congress “will equally lend voice to the fact that African women have grown beyond just being in the kitchen to much more.”