Minister makes case for violence against persons prohibition act
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan has said that the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 in the 36 states of the federation is not only a matter of urgent priority, but a critical step in providing the much needed enforcement framework alongside other necessary legal instruments to protect women and girls from all forms of violence both at the state and local levels.
She said the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act - a comprehensive legal instrument to holistically address different forms of Gender Based Violence was enacted in 2015 while the NAPTIP Act as well as other policies all guarantee protection for victims.
The Minister who spoke at one of the side events organized by Nigeria at the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which held in New York recently, said, “The Ministry in collaboration with the UNFPA inaugurated in 2017- a Task Force for the domestication of VAPP Act in Osun and Ekiti states where FGM is very prevalent, as first step of implementing the VAPP Act.
In a presentation entitled, ‘Strategies for eradicating Gender Based Violence in Nigeria: Successes, challenges and emerging issues,’ Alhassan said the topic was carefully chosen to underscore the ever increasing cases of gender based violence in the country.
She said, “Nigeria has consistently decried GBV in any form and has joined other countries of the world to formulate and sign relevant international protocols to eradicate the scourge.
“Nigeria’s signing of the Convention on the Eradication of All Forms of Discriminations Against Women CEDAW and the attempt made to domesticate it through the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill is a commitment to the implementation of relevant provisions of CEDAW and a demonstration of the collective resolve to eliminate or eradicate gender based violence in all ramifications.”
The Minister who attributed the situation to inequality in norms and power relations, also said, “the development has impacted negatively on the productivity and livelihood of women and girls, especially those living in rural areas.”
She added that she adopted the side event which had relevant stakeholders in attendance as a platform to highlight various forms of gender based violence that were prevalent in Nigeria, as well as look into emerging issues with a view to finding permanent solution to gender based violence in Nigeria.
Alhassan who listed child marriage, trafficking in persons, female genital mutilation as well as wife battering as some of the comment forms of gender based violence, also said policies and mechanisms in place to fight the scourge include advocacy towards increased awareness on the various forms of sexual violence, and the need to report any such case as the first step towards its eradication.