How fuel scarcity exposes girls to sexual violence


A women group under the aegis of The Nigerian Feminist Forum has raised the alarm over the growing hardship meted on women and girls as a result of the current fuel scarcity bedevilling the country.

In a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Save Nigerian women and girls from hardship, resolve fuel scarcity now!’, the group explained how the nationwide scarcity of premium motor spirit (fuel) exposed girls and women to violence.

The statement signed by the NFF Communications Officer, Angela Nkwo, stated that men tend to vent their anger on their wives after staying long at petrol station queues.

It partly read, “The fuel scarcity exposes women and girls to violence as miscreants have capitalised on it to snatch phones and rob people of possessions while on long queues.

“If not checked, the current situation will force thousands of Nigerian women out of business because the rising inflation will swallow their capital and run them out of business.

“Already, students in different tertiary institutions are unable to afford the high transportation costs as they head home to observe the one-month warning strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“Also, the number of women and girls exposed to gender-based violence has increased within one month as their spouse after spending long hours on fuel queues return home to display their frustration on them and other family members.

“Lack of fuel to power street lights exposes women and girls to rapists and urchins who hide behind the cover of darkness to perpetrate harm, thereby causing us untold psychological, mental, health, and physical trauma.

“We restate that the safety of over 140 million women and girls hang on the availability of fuel for their businesses to run effectively and save us from endless domestic violence within our supposed safe spaces.”

The group then called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to immediately provide fuel across the state, adding that all the hoarders of fuel products and stations that sell above approved prices should be sanctioned.