The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has called for strong legislations to curb the menace of violence against women and the girl-child.
Ambali made this call on Tuesday while declaring open a roundtable discussion on “Tackling Violence against the Girl-child and Women” organized to mark the International Criminal Court Day at the University. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sidiqat Ijaiya, described the theme for the roundtable as “apt, timely and godly”. He said that violence on girl-child and women had great physical and psychological consequences on the present and future lives of the victims. Ambali said:
“As a child, sister, wife, mother and grandmother, the female gender carries the burden of the home and the society on her shoulder until her strength is spent.”
“But why should a father, a friend of the family or a neighbour, subject even a three-year-old girl to sexual violence?”
“Why have our men become predatory? Is it for money or for power or are they on drugs? You must be really intoxicated before you can rape your own daughter,” he said.
In her presentation, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi of the Department of Public Law, University of Lagos, highlighted the different international and local legislations against gender-based violence such as rape. She said that:
“The problem was about implementing the law punishing the act’’.
In her submissions, Mrs Eni Ayeni, Programme Coordinator, Community Action against Injustice, Abuja, said that the challenge posed by violence against women and girls was a responsibility that should be tackled collectively. According to Ayeni, the implication of not addressing issues around violence against women and girls is far more than what has been envisaged. She stressed that without addressing the issues now, the future would be gloomy, because women and girls play prominent role in the healthy evolution of any human society.
The convener of the programme, Prof. Abdulwahab Egbewole, in his remarks, said the round-table was to beam searchlight on the International Criminal Justice Day as approved by the world community after the Kampala Conference in 2010.
“This year, we are focusing on violence against the girl-child and women because, in our view, they represent the most vulnerable group in the world,” Egbewole said.