By Victor Graham
Bayelsa State First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Diri has called for new approach in the fight against Gender Based Violence, saying with the evolving nature of society, more practical solutions are needed.
She listed poverty, ignorance and lack of good parenting as some of the factors responsible for the rising cases of Gender Based Violence in the state.
The first lady was quoted in a statement by her media aide, Maria Olodi-Osumah to have made the comments when the executives of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) paid her a courtesy visit at the Government House, Yenagoa.
The Wife of the Governor advocated for the toughest punishment and exposure of culprits without bias, saying “let us identify the underlining causes and deal with them to achieve better results”.
She stressed that such measures will serve as deterrant to persons with intentions to cause harm and reduce the rate of GBV in the state.
Mrs Diri who pointed out that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man urged FIDA Bayelsa not to relent in their efforts at ensuring justice for women, children and the vulnerable in the Society who are victims and survivors of GBV.
She commended FIDA Bayelsa for speaking for the voiceless and oppressed adding that FIDA”s impact in the fight against GBV, especially Rape and Defilement of minors deserves applause.
“We cannot continue to fight Gender Based Violence using the same approach. Let us reppraise the steps taken with a view to adding more workable solutions. I commend you for your efforts but more still needs to be done.
“My office is always willing to collaborate with you not just on the issue of GBV but to generally improve the lot of women in the state” she said.
Earlier, Leader of the delegation and Acting Chairperson of FIDA Bayelsa State, Barr. Ebimietei Ottah said FIDA Bayelsa has recorded some successes in the fight against Sexual Gender Based Violence.
She said the successes are from the diligent prosecution of offenders, adding that some perpetrators are serving jail terms while some other cases are ongoing.
She however stated that the challenges are enormous and partnership for collective tackling of SGBV is required.
Barr. Ottah appreciated the First Lady for her efforts towards the successful domestication of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill (VAPP) in the state by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly last week.
Ottah maintained that the First Lady’s show of love for FIDA during the yuletide and involving FIDA in all activities including the setting up the Gender Response Initiative Team is indicative of her motherly virtues.