Women in Maritime plan bill against rape, as Saraki, Tallen pledge support

Some women groups in the maritime industry have concluded plans to sponsor a bill against rape and other vices in the country.

The bill is coming on the heels of the incessant rape cases in the country in recent times, even as the Minister of Transportation for State, Gbemisola Saraki, and her counterpart from Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, have indicated interest to assist the female maritime practitioners for the bill to sail through the floor of the National Assembly.

Recall the case of a 22 years old girl, Uwaila Omozuwa, a University of Benin student, who was raped to death in a church.

Also, 18 years old Barakat Bello was killed after being raped as well as a 12-year-old girl raped to death in her house in Lagos, among others.

On the moves to ensure that the bill sails through, President, Women in Maritime, Nigeria (WIM-Nigeria), Hajia Bola Muse, who frowned at the recent cases of rape in the country, said women in the maritime sector have started compiling the list of female groups in furtherance to make inputs on the comprehensive bill.

Muse, who also doubles as Chief Executive Officer, Bomarah Group of Companies, while condemning the trending illicit act on women, said the anomaly must be eradicated from the society and indeed the world.

She also appealed to female seafarers who had been assaulted, molested or raped while aboard ships to come up and report such cases to the group for justice to be served, alleging that the male dominant profession has high number of cases of molestation, oppression and rape on women sailors while at sea.

She added that if the issue of rape was not addressed, anybody could fall victim of the malady at anytime.

Muse, a seasoned licensed Customs broker and the current Financial Secretary, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), reiterated that: “The case of rape in the country especially the agony, stigma that the victims go through is a serious one especially the fact that the people affected cannot overcome it overnight.

“So, we women from different groups and associations in the maritime sector like WILAT, WISTA, Women Entrepreneurs have started compiling our list because we want to send a bill to the National Assembly in respect of this matter.

“It could be anybody at anytime. Mind you, it is not only women that are raped, men too suffer rape. All these things are what we want to look into.”

Muse, who advocated castration for perpetrators, said: “The case of rape has been there before now but has become so rampant because of the lockdown arising from the raging COVID-19 pandemic.”

She stated further that her association has commenced sensitization campaign that women should not be shy to relay their experience so as to bring the perpetrators to book.

To her, if some fail to come out boldly to state their experiences, perpetrators of the heinous crime will continue in their criminality.

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