Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Groups hail passage of anti-gender violence bill

Published:

House of Representative

The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill seeks to punish perpetrators of gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Some civil society organisations on Friday commended the House of Representatives for passing the Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill.

The organisations expressed their satisfaction while responding to questions in Abuja on the development.

Ejike Oji, the Country Director of Ipas, said that the development was gladdening as issues of violence, especially against women, would be effectively addressed.

He urged the Senate to concur to enable President Goodluck Jonathan sign the bill into law.

“We commend the House of Representatives for its passage; we are now waiting for the Senate to pass theirs for concurrence. By so doing, it will enable the President assent to it to become law,” he said.

According to him, the Bill seeks to eradicate violence in the public and private spheres by providing compensation to victims and the protection of their rights.

He said that the Bill would also make it easy for a woman to prove allegation of rape, saying that when proven, the culprits would be adequately punished.

The Women Rights Manager of ActionAid Nigeria, Patience Ekeoba, said that the act by members of the House of Representatives showed that they were true representatives of the people.

“By this singular act, they have rekindled hope of the people in the parliament as hope of the poor. They have also written their names in history, many people will not forget this 7th National Assembly for this act,” she said.

Ms. Ekeoba also appealed to the Senate to follow suit and make a concurrent passage of the bill.

“We call on the Senate chamber of the National Assembly to make the necessary concurrent passage of this bill,” she said.

Hauwa Shekarau, the National President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), said that all over the world, global attention was being focused on violence against women.

Mrs. Shekarau said that Nigerians must take a cue and tackle the upsurge of domestic violence.

The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill seeks to eliminate violence and punish perpetrators of gender-based violence in Nigeria.

FIDA and other organisations had set up a coalition called legislative advocacy coalition on violence against women with a view to ensuring speedy passage of the bill.

(NAN)

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