Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has called on governments at all levels to establish centres for women and girls in need of psychosocial support, and equip them with man power.
General Secretary of FIDA, Abuja chapter, Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, who made the call in Abuja during her paper presentation on gender with the theme: ‘Peace, security and gender’, said only private centres give the needed services, “and this has become burdensome for individuals and organisations in terms of cost.”
In the programme which was centred on a research study on farmers-herders crisis in the North Central region of Nigeria, Ogunlana-Nkanga said the need for psychosocial support and availability of government owned centres have become expedient due to the new realities, emphasising that women and girls have become the most vulnerable during every civil unrest.
At the programme which was organised by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) in collaboration with the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) and Ubuntu Centre for Africa Peace Building and Development, the FIDA representative said in a normal society, there shouldn’t be any crisis between farmers and herders, as both are private businesses.
She said other areas needed to
rescue women and girls is for the government to “work with local clinics to support women with psychosocial support and skills acquisition so that they can provide for themselves.”
Lamenting that having a ‘vagina’ has become scary in Nigeria, Ogunlana- Nkanga emphasised that any woman or girl who has gone through rape or any kind of abuse and molestation during crisis or other ill-fated happenings must go through trauma support.
According to her, “Women must be involved in the solution process. The structure at the federal level is not helping matters, including the National Assembly, and this has also come down to the state level.
“With Nigerian situation now, there should be a free psychosocial support centre. None exists at the moment. There are few institutions and facilities but are mostly private. Brain drain has also affected most of the institutions.”