Over 500 women in Cross River State have staged a peaceful protest against rapists in the state.
The women who walked round major streets in Calabar, the state capital on Tuesday lamented the action of rapists.
Speaking separately, Roseline Inametti, a female lawyer, who participated in the protest, decried the high incidences of rape across the country since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the past three months of COVID-19, the cases we have been having are the cases of rape. A 6 months old baby has been raped, a 4-year-old has been raped and like Amina, who was raped by 11 men and kept there. Rape has been on the rise and only God knows when it will end”
“What we want the government to do is to change the laws. We do not just want to prosecute the rapists because most of the time they want the matter settled and that is all about it. No, that is not working. We need stiffer penalties, one that the rapist would not wriggle out of. The laws should protect the children, the female and male child, protect the women.
“We do not need violence and we must all say no to rape. Our wearing of miniskirts does not mean ‘yes’. No means no. if possible, we are seeking the death penalty to stop rape,” she insisted.
A representative of Gender and Action Development, Francisca Effiom, who is the Project Coordinator for Women Voices Leadership Project, said “we organized this rally to say ‘Stop Rape’.
“Rape has become an issue too many to address and it has taken a very serious and dangerous dimension in society. We are urging the government to look at the laws and policies existing and review such regulations to put an end to this menace.
“The policies need to be strengthened, laws reviewed so that rape will stop in our society,” Effiom called on more men to speak out against rape and join in the upbringing of their children especially the boy child. We need the support of the men; they should talk to their children at home and parents must live up to their responsibility to stop rape”.
Other groups that participated in the protest include the Girls Power Initiatives, GPI, Federation of International Women Lawyers, FIDA, the female members of ASUU, the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative, CROWEI, youth groups amongst others.