MARS-V to Host Summit on Rape, Gender-based Violence

Nasir El-Rufai

Mary Nnah

The Movement Against Rape and Sexual Violence (MARS-V) Initiative is set to host a digital summit on Saturday, June 27, 2020 by 10.00am, to address these issues on rape cases, gender-based violence (GBV) as well educate the general public on the roles individuals and organisations can play in curbing this vile act and creating a safer environment for Nigerians.

The webinar titled, “Ending the Culture of Impunity in Cases of Rape and Gender Based Violence”, will feature panellists from various fields who will be focusing on topics such as: “Speaking Through The Lens”, “Why the Laws need to be changed to extreme laws/punishments on proven rape and also harsher on other forms of GBV”, “The culture of silence and impunity of the perpetrators that go with it”, “Obstacles to Invoking change in Gender-based Laws” and “From the perspective of a Doctor and Gynecologist – Health risks and effects of rape on the survivors”.

Other topics to be discussed will be based on, “Explaining the Wholistic Legal View of Rape and GBV”, “Emphasizing the Role of Women in fighting Rape & GBV”, “The role of journalism in creating safe spaces for breaking the barrier of silence”, “Emphasizing the Key Role Of NGOs in Addressing Rape and GBV” and “Redefining and Strengthening our current Rape Laws, the sustainable means to end rape cases in Nigeria”.

The Guest Speaker for the discussion will be Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, while the honorable speakers at the virtual summit include: Founder, Mental Health Coach and Advocate at She Writes Woman, Hauwa Ojeifo; Wife Of The Governor Kaduna State and UNFPA Ambassador On Fistula, H.E. Aisha-Ummi Garba El-Rufai and First Lady of Kebbi State, Paediatric Consultant & Child’s Right Advocate, H.E. Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu.

Others to speak at the event include: First Lady Of Niger State, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, H.E. Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani Bello; Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology & Founder – Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru; Ambassador Sixtus Obinna Nwoke Convened African Indigenous Center For Sustainable Development Goals; Rafat Salami, Author At VON; Honorable Minister Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen; Barrister Amaka Ogundipe Esq. and Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director General NAPTIP.

It is no news that there has been a huge increase in the number of rape cases and gender-based violence over the past few years. The conference organisers are of the opinion that if we want to see great change and improvement, we need to bring to fore, the areas where we can contribute in fighting these issues, while actively working closely with law makers to create laws that ensure the severest of punishments for these crimes and also ensure justice, protection and stigma-free environments for survivors.

“One of the purposes of punishment is to deter subsequent and intended perpetrators of such crimes for which the punishment is being meted out for and until we get the laws changed to apply extreme legal punishment for rape, Sexual predators and rape perpetrators will continue to destroy people’s lives without any serious consequences”, H.E. Aisha-Ummi Garba El-Rufai, stated.

The conversation will be moderated by renowned TV Host & Producer, Vimbai Mutinhiri-Ekpeyong. Interested person can hook up with the zoom initation link