PRESS RELEASE: FAME Foundation Condemns the Assault and Battering of Female Nigerian Parliament Member
Historically, women have faced barriers when it comes to participating in society. There is a marginalization towards women in various ways, such as wide pay gaps, uneven opportunities, and unequal representation in decision-making and leadership. Women’s participation in leadership is largely undermined by the predominance of the powerful class of men, who have historically run these systems.
Women face various factors that hinder their participation in leadership positions. In Nigeria, women make up to 49% of the population, but only 4% are law or decision-makers. Due to the minimal figure of women involved in government, they are faced with many challenges such as little or no support, gender stereotypes, stigmatization, lack of proper mentorship, and implied incompetence, amongst others, simply because of their gender. These challenges do not bring forth any encouragement for the younger generation.
On October 4, 2021, Mrs. Cynthia Nwala, a Leader of the Legislative Council in Etche Local Government, Rivers State, was battered and stripped naked within the council premises as the leadership crisis amongst the council escalated.
According to Mrs. Nwala, the assault was carried out by Chinedu Onyechi, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the council, at the orders of Mr. Obinna Anyanwu, the Chairman Etche Local Government, who denied the allegations.
This barbaric act is undeserving of any woman regardless of the allegations before her. Ordinarily, assault and battery is a crime that is punishable by law as provided for under section 252 of the Criminal Code. Therefore, guilty persons should be punished accordingly.
FAME Foundation condemns this act as we support women in and out of leadership positions. We urge that this matter be taken seriously and appropriate measures are taken to punish offenders.
We should collectively work towards the eradication of every form of Gender-based Violence in Nigeria.