From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, has urged female students of girls’ schools in the state to defend themselves against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in their respective homes, society and charged them to further their education to higher institutions.
Dr Bagudu stated this while addressing female students of six Girls Secondary schools, who converged at Dr Aminat College, Birnin Kebbi, during the 16 days of activism against GBV for girls organized by the Women At Risk International Foundation(WARIF) in collaboration with the Kebbi State Government.
She explained that, with proper education, the girls would be able to fill many vacancies available for the women at the civil service in the state.
The governor’s wife, represented by the former Executive Secretary of Schools Management Board, Hajiya Asmau Alkali, told the females from selected six girls’ schools to break the silence about oppressors of sexual abuse, rape and harassment, stressed that governments and female lawyers would be there for them to fight for their course.
Responding to a series of questions from the female students of rape, abuse, Bagudu said: “I am so happy now that the girls are ready to defend themselves. You can defend yourselves because; you have the opportunity to do so. If you are not in school, you may not have this chance. But you have this opportunity and Her Excellency is always ready to ensure that the education sector is moving forward. So, I do hope that you will continue to read your book very well, respect your teachers and make sure you proceed to the next level.
“What I mean by next level, is that we are expecting you to proceed with your education to higher institutions. We have a lot of vacancies where we need a lot of Lawyers, so many Nurses, so many Doctors, and so many teachers.
“Most especially female teachers, so please, you can choose any field. We need a lot of you because women are not participating. Most of you might not proceed after secondary school, some might not pass their exams, some, their families could not afford to sponsor them, few, their husbands will not allow you to go further. So, I am calling on you to support yourselves, your country by furthering your education and get educated.”
Bagudu, who appealed to the girls, not to keep quiet anymore on rapes, sexual abuse and harassment, assured them that, she and female Lawyers have got the backing of the House of assembly and other relevant agencies on law backing prosecution of GBV, stressed that they have no problem to get any rapist convicted in the court.
In his remarks, the Programmes Manager of WARIF, Mr Adeyemi Asaba, said that ‘talking about sustainability and addressing the questions the girls asked, we have our staff here base in Kebbi state which are addressing issues relating to rape, harassment. Things that have to do with medical, we refer them to appropriate quarters. Psychological and sociological; we have been able to address some of these issues.”
Earlier, Barrister Kudirat Shuaib, Vice-Chairperson of Kebbi state Technical Working Committee on GBV, told the female students that no rapists could escape justice again because the law has changed their conviction from 14 years imprisonment to life imprisonment stressed that, a rape case can also be reported without details of the victims except series number which shall be used to prosecute the case to the logical conclusion.
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