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Senator to establish marshals against gender-based-violence in FCT

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Ireti Kingibe, on Saturday, vowed to establish gender-based violence marshalls from each ward in the Federal Capital Territory as part of plans to curb the rising cases of violence against women and girls.

The federal lawmaker stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja at the Betta Arts Festival, a film screening in collaboration with the Orange Nigeria Project to mark the 16 days of activism against GBV.

According to her, the marshalls who will come on board in January of 2024 will monitor and report cases of gender-based violence which she tagged as “Orange Girls.”

While raising concern over the rising cases of sexual gender-based violence in Nigeria, she said fatalities were over 1,250 since the launch of the National Gender-based Violence Situation Room and dashboard in November 2020.

She further revealed that 28,000 GBV cases were reported nationwide, over 9000 court cases have been opened against offenders and over 8,000 are still pending in various courts.

While stressing that the 16 days of activism were supposed to be for advocacy, she said that people gained more awareness compared to previous years.

She said, “To curb the rising cases of GBV in the FCT, I will engage ward volunteers, known as Orange Marshalls who will monitor and report cases of violence against women and girls, in January 2024. Sadly, the number of GBV convictions is nothing to go by. The number of fatalities is over 1,250.

“Since the launch of the National Data Situation Room, over 28,000 GBV cases have been reported nationwide. In all those cases over 9000 have been opened against offenders while over 8,000 are still pending in various courts, and over 8800 cases have been withdrawn either by the courts,

“By the middle of January, I would call for volunteers from the wards who will be orange marshalls to monitor SGBV in their respective wards and report it.”

Speaking on gender bills expected from her, she pointed out that laws were already in place, but noted that enforcing them has been the problem.

The Betta Arts Festival film screening organiser, Bikiya Graham-Douglas said the idea behind the filming was to “tell stories from Africa on sexual gender-based violence.

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