By Amina Brai Omoike
Worried about the rising incidences of rape across the country, a call has been made for proper education of the boy child towards value reorientation to respect the rights of women, as well as to protect and show care to their sisters, mother, aunties and women in general.This call was made at the end of the June edition of the monthly meeting of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) on Saturday, June 6, 2020. The Congress was dedicated to the first anniversary of the present NAWOJ administration.
In a communique drafted by the association, it was noted that people are guilty of raising a generation of young men who see women as objects for pleasure, hence the need to change the cultural narrative.The Congress which held virtually emphasized that discrimination, harassment and violence against women of all ages must be stopped. The female members of the Press also called on legislators to proffer a more serious penalty for rape, since they rejected castration.Explaining that communication remains key in curtailing cases of rape, the association urged parents to create time out to relate with their children, especially with schools practically moving online and children being exposed to all kinds of information on the internet.It also charged law enforcement agencies like the Police to enforce existing laws on rape without further traumatising the victims; whilst ensuring that shaming of rape victims be addressed.The monthly Congress also featured a Zoom meeting with Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. The topic of her lecture was ‘Post COVID-19: Financial recovery and empowerment opportunities for women’.Speaking during her welcome address, Mrs. Adeola Ekine, the NAWOJ Lagos Chapter Chairman, stated that the topic was relevant as many media houses were being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in loss of jobs and non-payment of salaries of many journalists. She noted that members needed alternative sources of income and various empowerment opportunities.