Nigeria: Women's campaign stage protest over sexual violence

Nigerian rights campaigners took to the streets of the capital Abuja yesterday, to raise awareness for the constant sexual violence which has become commonplace in the West African country after a series of high-profile rape cases.

#JusticeforUwa has spread on social media in the last week after Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, a 22-year-old student, died two days after she was raped in a church in the southern city of Benin.

Protesters wearing face masks, carry banners as they stage a demonstration to raise awareness about sexual violence, yesterday in Abuja, Nigeria. Image credit Reuters, Afolabi Sotunde

More than 200 protesters were present in the march around the police headquarters in Abuja, chanting and holding placards that read “Justice for all Nigerian girls and women”, and “No means no”.

The march was one of many activities planned by campaigners urged politicians to set aside more money to tackle the issue and ensure police independence.

“Children are dying, women are dying, enough is enough,” said Dorothy Njemanze, one of the protest organisers.

Njemanze also said that she and other campaigners were “watching every step of everything they (politicians) say and do on sexual-based violence”.

Image credit Reuters, Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s most senior policeman has ordered the immediate deployment of additional investigators to specialist gender violence desks, a Police Force statement said on Tuesday.

“This is to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the units to respond to the increasing challenges of sexual assaults and domestic/gender-based violence linked with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and other social ills within the country,” Police Force statement announced.

However, there must be a reason why it wasn’t enough to stop the strong and courageous women who marched yesterday, don't you think?

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