How Covid-19 strengthened Nigerian woman Peacebuilders amidst of pandemic to be more committed in the fight against gender-base violence in the country.

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    By ibrahima pima

    The founder of the foundation for the protection of women and childrens in Nigeria Ramatu Tijjani expressed that the lockdown imposed to deal with COVID-19 has granted greater freedom to abusers. Several media reports indicate a surge in cases of domestic violence in various countries

    She made the statement during an interview with the press in kaduna north western Nigeria when she paid a visit to some families on the importance of sensitizing the public about childrens right amids of the pandemic.

    She expressed worries over the increase reports on media on child-rape by parents and other form of abuses

    Ramatu pointed that Corona-virus luckdown has enabled her get more courage of visiting families to sensitize them about various ways of protecting childrens right amids of the pandemic.

    According to her, The spread of the novel Coronavirus has created a myriad of problems for the people to grapple with. In the absence of a vaccine and effective treatment for this virus, the governments are forced to impose quarantines to reduce the spread of the disease.

    However, this has resulted in a paradox of social distancing, which includes issues such as economic instability, mental health problems, and isolation. Although there have been researches exploring the impact of COVID-19, there is a lack of rigorous literature highlighting these issues from the perspective of gender.

    This also involves the issue of rising gender violence during the pandemic.

    COVID-19 has not only led to an increase in the cases of gender-based violence but has disconnected them from their support networks.

    To reduce the prevalence of the issue, it is crucial to acknowledge the extent of gender-based violence, reimagine government policies, and support networks to make it easier for the victims to access them and, lastly, create awareness about the issue as well as the resources available to tackle it.

    Indeed ,Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the country has continued to experience the serious displacement of people due to various conflicts arising from Boko Haram, herdsmen and bandits’ activities. While these displacements are not particularly unusual or different from conflict-induced displacements pre-COVID-19, the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are often compounded amidst a pandemic like COVID-19.

    President of the Foundation, noted that lockdown has enabled marital couples to settle their domestic problems and makes them team-up together to restore peace and happiness in their marital homes.

    According to a research conducted by the Foundation, under the leadership of Hajiya Tijjani, it clearly shows that apart from increase in domestic violence ,there is also a good story to tell about the relationship of married couples teeming up together to help the family in the midst of the corona-virus pandemic.

    She said the lockdown has helped many married couples settle their
    differences and grievances (between husbands and wives) and returned missing peace back to their homes.

    The lockdown has managed to bring husbands and wives, not just physically, but also emotionally closer to strengthening their family relationships and how to be helping each other even after the corona-virus pandemic,” she noted.

    According to her, against the sad backdrop of the corona-virus that is causing serious problems to all aspects of human beings, “the lockdown has contributed immensely towards returning back the missing peace to many homes due to lack of better understanding among couples.

    “It is obviously clear that lockdown by both state and federal governments to curtail the spread of corona-virus has enabled parents to be discovering the pleasure of spending time with their wives and children at home, and even spend more time teaching their kids other domestic activities.

    “During this lockdown, many family men were seen helping their wives cooking, washing, cleaning the house and assisting their wives doing some domestic jobs to make them happy.

    “The lockdown brought joy and happiness to many married women because it makes them get closer to their men throughout the lock down,” she noted.

    Tijjani, who is a peace ambassador and interfaith specialist in Nigeria, asserted that, “The lockdown has come with its fair share of advantages as it forces people to work on their differences and find a ‘middle ground’ so that they can live respectfully and amicably inside the same house without any trouble.”

    She stressed that, “Families that mostly live apart are now finding grace in getting to spend ‘quality time’ with other members of the household. The lockdown has given us a chance to go back to the days when family time was the most important time of the day.”

    She expressed fair that there will be many new born babies at the end of the year due to the lockdown order, which forces men to be with their women 24hours for series of weeks.

    The NGO president, however, noted that, “The lockdown has led to the scarcity of condoms in most places of selling in the market,” and thanked Nigerian journalists for the humanitarian services they render during the lockdown.

    She further appealed to media organizations, corporate organizations and
    wealthy individuals to award journalists for the hazards they go through during the pandemic in terms of disseminating information about various protective on Covid 19.

    Similarly, commissioner of human service and social development, Hajiya
    Hafsat Baba, appreciated the way the lockdown helps families get closer to each other, stressing that every family enjoyed peace and unity.

    While also congratulating the whole families in the universe on world international family day, which is going to be celebrated today, the 15th of May, Baba also advised parents to always educate their kids on ways to shun drug abuse and other domestic violence.

    In another development,she toke a campaign to meet with house owners,so as to draw their attention on the importance for tenants to spot paying house rents due to lockdown restriction .

    Tijjani said that landlords should show care and love to their tenants especially during the COVID-19

    In order to reduce the people’s suffering over the coronavirus lockdown, the landlords in Kaduna state have been urged to give two months free rent to their tenants

    While Stressing that the that the two-month free rents would cushion the effects of the current economic hardship people are being faced with over the COVID-19 pandemic

    “This is the best time for landlords to show care to their tenants that have been living in their property for many years. Many families have been thrown into uncertainty due to lack of funds leading to increasing domestic violence among couples amid the coronavirus lockdown,” Ramatu said.

    She said landlords should offer support and understanding at this critical time and not disturb their tenants about payment of rent.

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