The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina, on Tuesday said only two states in Nigeria are implementing the Child Rights Act.
Speaking at the commemoration of the 2014 International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, Ms. Maina said since the passage of the Child Rights Act in 2003 by the National Assembly, to protect children’s right in Nigeria, only 23 states have domesticated the law.
Ms. Maina said even out of those 23 states, only two — Lagos and Akwa Ibom — are implementing the law.
The Minister said the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is making efforts to ensure passage of bills that would protect the rights of every Nigerian woman.
This year’s event, to be commemorated with 16 days of activism is themed “From peace in the home to peace in the world: Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women. ”
Ms. Maina also decried the under reportage of gender-based violence in Nigeria.
She said that while there have been increased documentation of gender-based violence in the past two decades, the issues of violence against women is still under reported.
“There’s a long standing failure to protect women from gender-based violence, nonetheless, we must address economic, social and cultural issues particularly gender inequalities that pose violence, that make women and girls vulnerable,” Ms. Maina said.
She said the ministry has worked towards addressing issues of gender violence through the enactment and strengthening of law enforcement agencies, resource allocation and capacity building of these agencies, strengthening men’s movement to promote equality, among others.
“I have realised that when you engage men, believe me you will find a wonderful partner in them. They will help fight and make sure that they promote gender issues and help women,” she said.
Ms. Maina said following the ministry’s advocacy, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, made available a gender policy and units in all its offices in Nigeria, while the Nigeria Police have provided gender desks in its offices.