Women’s rights activist and Founder, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, has condemned Tuesday’s verbal attack on Senator Oluremi Tinubu by Senator Dino Melaye during a closed-door session of the Senate and gave, Melaye a 3-day ultimatum to tender “unreserved apology” to the Senate Committee Chair on Women Affairs.
Remi Tinubu and Dino Melaye Failure to do so, she threatened, will lead to what she termed “Occupy National Assembly” by well-meaning Nigerians. According to Akiyode-Afolabi, the attack buttressed the ill attitude to the issue of women’s rights protection and gender equality in Nigeria. “Verbal abuse, assault and battery of women is becoming a pattern in our democratic dispensation and it is a reflection of the numerous abuses that women face on a daily basis in our society.
“According to the National Demographic and Health Survey Report 2013, 28 percent of women age 15-49 have experienced physical violence at least once and seven percent have experienced sexual violence in Nigeria. These figures are even not representative of the magnitude of the problem.
“Between 2003 till date, notable women lawmakers have experienced physical and verbal abuse from men who are supposed to protect their rights. Senator Iyabo Anisulowo was slapped by another lawmaker at the National Assembly while another female lawmaker from Edo State was battered by an aide to an immigration officer at the Assembly Complex earlier this year. Honourable Funmi Tejuoso was also physically assaulted at the Lagos State House of Assembly sometime ago.
Then this gender insecurity against Senator Oluremi Tinubu who is not only representing her constituency in Lagos State but also over half of the Nigerian population; womenfolk,” she said in a statement, yesterday. Akiyode-Afolabi also criticized the red chamber for its inaction over recent attacks on Tinubu, describing the silence as a tacit support on violence against women in the country.