Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo (SAN,OON) Speaks to Leadership Nigeria on Herder-Farmer Crisis, Sit-at-home Order Fuel Gender-based Violence

The farmer-herder crisis, as well as other crises such as the sit-at-home in the southeast part of the country, have exposed more women to gender-based violence, reports published with support by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RSL) West Africa have indicated.

Surveys from the reports throw light on the unique challenges faced by women and girls in Nigeria and the effects of Gender Based Violence (GBV) whether in conflict settings, sit -at -home or for domestic workers.

Speaking during the launch of the reports, Emeritus Dean of Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Joy Ezeilo (SAN) noted that the abduction and trafficking of girls as mercenaries and comfort to provide sex for the insurgents, forced marriage to terrorists and ‘sex-for-food further escalated GBV in the country.

According to her, these untoward practices are having a significant impact on women, children and persons with disabilities, resulting in huge unmet justice needs.

The three reports titled: “Effects of Bwari conflict and Enugu sit-at-home on women,” Experiences and conditions of domestic workers in North West Nigeria’ and ‘Impact of the farmer-herder crisis on women and girls in IDP camps’


Speaking on the impacts of violent activities such as banditry, farmer-herder clashes, and sit-at-home in the Southeast on women and girls, the law teacher argued that women not only lose economically but also lose their families in the ensuing violence.


She said, “Evidence has established that in all these attacks, women and children suffer all kinds of abuses such as the loss of sources of subsistence occupation, maybe farming or livestock rearing. This results in family instability and the creation of a mass population of widows because their husbands are killed in the violent conflict. This increases the inability of children to attend schools because they are rendered homeless and living in IDP camps.”


Ezeilo blamed the criminal justice ecosystem for not doing enough to protect victims.

She said: “Offenders get away with their crimes due to a lack of due diligence in investigation and prosecution, evidence, and witness support, including delays and corruption in the administration of the criminal justice system. Victims have been re-victimised and doubly jeopardised by society and in the justice delivery ecosystem.”

She added, “In the criminal justice ecosystem, police and other administrators of justice often fail to protect victims of sexual and gender-based violence by dismissing the seriousness of such violence.”

She also lamented that cases of sexual assault continued to be trivialised, and the ‘blaming the victim’ mantra was still very much alive.

Ezeilo stressed that the culture of shaming and stigmatisation worsens the silence around reporting and prosecuting cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

The regional representative of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung West Africa, Dr. Claus Dieter Konig, said the gender-based violence escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Konig noted that the recommendations from the three books could be adopted to alleviate the sufferings of victims.


Written by Leadership News

Herder-Farmer Crisis, Sit-at-home Order Fuel Gender-based Violence – Report


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