A non governmental organisation (NGO), Global Rights, has held a sensitisation campaign to mark this year’s #16DaysOfActivism aimed at stopping rape and gender-based violence held annually every November 25 to December 10.
The event held Monday in Abuja, with the theme “Dancing With Consent”, had in attendance more than 100 FCT residents, development partners and different NGOs.
Addressing participants at the event, the executive director of Global Rights (Nigeria), Ms. Abiodun Baiyewu, said that women have been dehumanised, especially in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), by the male folk and sometimes by authorities “as if being a woman is a crime”.
She said: “Violence against women is something that happens in everyday life; something we have come to accept in our homes, schools, offices and what have you. We have come to accept rape as a normal thing. A father can now rape his daughter and the latter is blamed. Men can walk about at night and go anywhere they wish to and nothing happens, but a lady would be looking over her shoulder if she steps out at night.
“In fact, when a lady complains of rape, the question would be: ‘what were you wearing?’ Nobody talks about the mental violence in our homes. This is not acceptable. Women are dehumanised. We don’t even talk about work place violence, but it is common in our society. It is time we started having a rethink. A woman’s body is her property, not a crime scene.”
Also speaking, managing partner, Salsa Abuja, Mr Michael Umoh, said that a lady’s consent should be sought at all times in human relationship, especially when it comes to dancing in a party or in any social event.
“We get used to ourselves. We get used to walking up to a lady and asking her to dance. Why don’t we share the rules, sometimes unspoken, with other folks? Sometimes, we may know each other or not, so a simple seeking of consent is important,” he said.
Highlight of the event was different forms of drama and music by a troupe; aimed at denouncing rape and violence against women in all ramifications.