Women in Maritime Journalism Condemn Rape, Violence Against females

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Women in Maritime Journalism Condemn Rape, Violence Against females

* Tasks Government, Agencies on Enforcement of Laws Against Sexual crimes

By Udeme Clement :

WIMAJ’s Chairperson :

Women in Maritime Journalism (WIMAJ), has condemned in strong terms incessant cases of rape and violence against females in Nigeria, calling on government, as well as organisations in the maritime industry to prioritise enforcement of laws to protect women against sexual violence in the maritime industry.

WIMAJ, in a press release signed by its Chairperson, Mrs Ezinne Azunna, stated that recent national discussions on putting an end to rape and sexual violence against women, must take into cognisance occurrences of sexual harassment and abuse in offices, even as it tasks organisations to ensure that people found culpable are punished according to law.

She said, “There are reports pointing to experiences of sexual harassment and abuse of females working in the industry, especially seafarers, who many times have to stay on board vessels working for months”.

According to WIMAJ’s Chairperson; “Organisations and victims must shun the culture of silence, inaction and cover-ups, if such ugly incidents must be stopped

“Irrespective of gender, no human being should be sexually exploited.”

She stressed; “There is an urgent need to ensure that individuals found guilty of rape are given stiffer punishments, regardless of their positions in the society.

“We are calling on agencies in the maritime sector to come public with bold policies on sexual abuse, as silence often encourage predators.

“Some seafarers have been victims of rape perpetrated by pirates who hijack vessels and hold crews hostage.”

She added, “Government should expedite action for implementation of the Deep Blue Project embarked on by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), as it is expected that the project will effectively tackle sea piracy, to ensure safety of lives at sea.

“Rape and sexual violence are criminal offences and must not be swept under the carpet. Victims should be encouraged to speak out.
“Agencies must show that the industry is not weak in this regard and will fully implement policies and laws to protect workers”.

“The Nigerian Police must also be ready to carry out thorough and unbiased investigations to rid the society of this evil”, the WIMAJ Chairperson stated.

WIMAJ frowned at situations where rape victims who suffer severe psychological trauma, are stigmatised while the perpetrators walk freely in the society unpunished.
The Group pledges support for victims willing to speak out.

WIMAJ is a group of female Journalists in the Maritime industry, coming together to advocate policies and programmes needed to enhance growth and development of the industry.

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