By Justina Auta
Representatives of states Ministries of Women Affairs, Nigeria Police and National Assembly have advocated the establishment of separate Courts for speedy prosecution of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases.
They made the call in a statement by the Director, Press, Mr Olujimi Oyetomi, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, after a high level coordination mechanisms meeting as part of the European Union Spotlight Initiative in Abuja.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union (EU) and the UN to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children in Lagos, Adamawa, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Cross River and FCT.
They said that eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) would aide in achieving gender equality and women empowerment in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The forum has resolved on some newer methods and ways to carry on the struggle to liberate the Nigerian women and girls from violence, harmful practices and sexual reproductive and health rights.”
They, therefore, resolved to intensify advocacies and public enlightenment nationwide towards eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
“Establishment of separate Courts to provide speedy justice for cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in states.
“There should be increase in the establishment and utilisation of services by survivors especially shelters across the States of the nation.
“States Ministries of Women Affairs should endeavor to enhance partnership with the Judiciary and Police to ensure that perpetrators of all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls are brought to book.
“FMWA to liaise with Federal Ministry of Health to obtain waivers for the treatment of survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls in government hospitals,” they said.
They also called for the interpretation and production of VAPP Law in local languages and improved budgetary allocation for addressing cases of Violence Against Women and Girls
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum comprises states’ Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries in charge of women affairs and poverty alleviation, the Nigeria Police Force.
Others are Senate/House of Representative Committees on violence against women and girls, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the UN-Women as well as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). (NAN)