Women Coalition, GECORN demands political inclusion, end to rape, discriminatory practices

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A coalition of women groups, under the aegis of Gender and Constitution Reform Network, (GECORN), on Monday, marched round major roads in Enugu metropolis demanding an end to all forms of discriminatory practices against women.

It reports that the women groups were drawn from the civil society groups and other non-governmental organizations from Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia States.

They declared that there should be no restriction on the way of women towards assuming any political office, especially as Nigeria nears the 2023 general elections.

Apart from political inclusion, the women are demanding end to Gender-Based Violence, GBV, denial of inheritance, female genital mutilation, among others.

Speaking during the street march, the programme officer of GECORN, Goodness Ibanga said they trooped out to demand an end to the humiliation of the women folk.

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“Today, we say, enough is enough. We are tired of the rape of our women and girls, what did a 2-year-old child do to you? What did a 2-months old baby do to you that you rape the child?

“Is it our fault that we are women? What did we do to deserve this wickedness?” She queried.

Ibanga added that “all we want today is an end to evil treatment against women. We are calling on everybody, we are asking that women be carried along, equity, gender parity,

“We are asking for equality, 50-50, today this is our cry, men on the street, please leave us alone, our only crime is that we are women.”

Also speaking, the Director of Communications, Women Aid Collective, WACOL, Mrs. Egodi Igwe said the women groups were equally demanding sensitive positions ahead of the 2023 general elections.

She explained that, “This is part of the project WACOL is doing in Nigeria and across the world, this project is being implemented across the country.

“In the South-East, we are holding this rally to create awareness on Gender-Based Violence. Women from all the States in Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia, we are saying that women have had enough; widows are not spared, it is like they are waiting for their husbands to die, they will come for war.

“A woman that has lived in a home for 20 years will immediately become a stranger, she will become a murderer, once her husband dies, they will strip her of everything she has laboured for with her husband.

“Today, we are saying enough is enough, all the harmful cultural practices, all practices against women, disinheritance of girl-child, enough is enough. If they give inheritance to the male child, they should give to the female child.

“In 2023, we are going to the Lion Building. From there, we go to Aso Rock, a woman can be the Speaker of the House of Assembly, 50-50 for women.”

Other speakers from Ebonyi and Abia States, Mrs. Goodness Mgbaja and Lady Ugo Kalu, respectively, re-echoed the demands, stressing that women could hold any position in their various states and beyond.

“What we are saying is that 2023 is for women, a woman is good to be speaker, governor, president.

“Abia women are saying no more intimidation of widows, no more rape, no more beating,” Mgbaja from Abia stated.

Her counterpart from Ebonyi, Kalu declared that, “We are saying no GBV, we are saying no to female genital mutilation, what we are demanding is the implementation of the exiting laws.

“We are against early child marriage, no to female genital mutilation, encourage and support girl-child education.”

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