Tuesday, 01 December, 2020

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Enact laws on sexual violence, violence against women, governors’ wives tell NGF


Wives of the 36 state governors in Nigeria have called on Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to enact laws on sexual violence and all forms of violence against women in the country.

The clarion call was contained in a communiqué issued and signed by the NGF’s chairman’s wife, Bisi Fayemi on behalf of First Ladies Against Gender-Based Violence (FLA-GBV), at the end of the Zoom conference meeting on Sunday.

While expressing displeasure over the increasing rate of assault against women across the country, the group pledged support for the calls by various concerned organisations to declare a State of Emergency on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Wives of the 36 state governors in Nigeria have called on Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to enact laws on sexual violence and all forms of violence against women in the country.

The clarion call was contained in a communiqué issued and signed by the NGF’s chairman’s wife, Bisi Fayemi on behalf of First Ladies Against Gender-Based Violence (FLA-GBV), at the end of the Zoom conference meeting on Sunday.

While expressing displeasure over the increasing rate of assault against women across the country, the group pledged support for the calls by various concerned organisations to declare a State of Emergency on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

“We noted the calls by various concerned organisations to declare a State of Emergency on Sexual and gender-based violence and we would like to add our voices to such demands.

“It was observed that very few cases of sexual violence in Nigeria end up in convictions. The First Ladies, therefore, resolved to become more involved in seeing that justice is done for survivors of sexual violence.

“It was further noted that several states in the country have not domesticated relevant legislation to safeguard women and children from violence and very few states have a Sex Offenders Register. It was agreed that advocacy efforts will be intensified to ensure that legislation and implementation of such laws can be used to combat gender-based violence.

“We the First ladies of the 36 states of the federation have resolved to work assiduously with a range of stakeholders to break the culture of silence which has so far meant that perpetrators are not brought to justice because the parents and or family members of the victims and the victims themselves are prevailed upon not to report these cases. The First Ladies were unequivocal that this must stop.

“We will endeavour to provide shelter and safe houses in our various States for women in distress, as well as ongoing sensitisation and support in safe spaces.

“It was further resolved that boys will be tutored as well on what constitutes sexual violence, and men will be encouraged to lend their voices to the various anti-GBV campaigns going on.

“Finally, we the First Ladies of the 36 States agreed that it would be best to harmonise efforts at curbing the menace in the country by working together collaboratively and sharing best practices.

“A committee comprising First Ladies from the six geopolitical zones was set up to drive the process, headed by Erelu Bisi Fayemi of Ekiti State and Mrs Folake Abdulrazaq of Kwara State as secretary while the chairs of the Northern and Southern Governors Wives Fora, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello and Mrs Betsy Obaseki would lend their support to the process.

“It will be recalled that in July 2019, the First ladies had a robust campaign against rape and gender-based violence which included statements, talks, advocacy walks and workshops. The First Ladies have in the light of recent happenings resolved to amplify these advocacy efforts,” the communiqué read.

Credit: Nigeria Tribune

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