THE Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has condemned all forms of gender based violence, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting efforts to eliminate such crimes against women in Nigeria.
At a Virtual Roundtable Conference with traditional and religious leaders on “Eliminating Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditional Practices Against Women and Girls,” on Thursday, Tallen noted that the support was a great boost in the fight against the menace.
The conference was jointly organised by UN Spotlight Agencies under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, apartnership to eliminate all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
She said, “the President has directed the minister of justice to put in place an inter-ministerial gender group and the Inspector General of Police to ensure zero tolerance to rape in the country.”
Tallen lauded the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and the governors’ wives for the declaration of state of emergency on rape.
She said that “the National Assembly hit a milestone with the passage of the bill to prohibite sexual harassment on students.”
Tallen sought the support of religious and tradition leaders saying, “they play critical roles in achieving government policies at the grassroots. We will not pretend; we need you to break this rape and gender violence issues.”
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that “it is unfortunate that only about 10 states in the country have legal framework that protects the interest of girls and women.”
Represented by Mrs Yomi Onanuga, the speaker said that his office was engaging with state and non-state actors in domesticating the Child Rights Act and follow up action and prosecution as response to gender violence.
He commended the European Union and the UN mission in Nigeria for their concern toward ending violence against women and girls through the Spotlight Initiative.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, said that rape must be condemned and Islam condemned it and anyone that maltreats his wife or women.
Represented by the Emir of Arugungu, Sumaila Muhammad, he assured his support for the fight against all forms of violence against women in the country. (NAN)