Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
Comrade Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

CISLAC to FG: Intensify efforts to stop gender-based violence

NEWS DIGEST – The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has called on the federal government to intensify efforts in curbing gender-based violence in the country.

Making the call on Thursday, while commemorating the 2022 16 Days of Activism themed: “Activism to end gender based violence”, the group said it is seriously worried on the growing spate of gender-based violence in the country, adding that the government should implement more stringent policies that will totally stop the menace.

CISLAC explained that while it is aware of the positive steps taken by the government in the past years, a lot still needs be done to address the challenges of gender-based violence in the country, in line with global best practices.

The statement read: “As the world campaigns for the elimination of all form of Gender-Based Violence across the globe, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) is calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to intensify efforts to implement its commitment towards the elimination of Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria. The theme for this year commemoration is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls” is calling for collective effort by all stakeholders to stem the tides on the growing menace of violence against women and girls. CISLAC is seriously worried on the growing spate of the menace of Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria. From forced and early marriages to physical, mental, or sexual assault on a woman, nearly 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical violence by age 15 (NDHS 2013).”

We note with optimism, that recently, the government of Nigeria has taken some bold initiatives to curb these menace, such as; the efforts by the Nigeria Governors Forum to declare a state of emergency on Gender-Based Violence; the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Gender-Based Violence Management Committee; the Senate approval of the Sexual Harassment Bill in furtherance of the legislative agenda to protect women’s rights and at regional level Statement by the ECOWAS Commission calling for urgent action to address GBV and protect the rights of children. In June 2021, the National Human Rights Commission, the Nigeria Police, and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) signed an agreement of formally joining forces to combat GBV. These developments present opportunities to further the prevention and response to GBV in Nigeria.”

“However, a lot is still desired to be done in order to turn the table around to address the challenges associated with GBV in line with global best practices. We are calling on the government of Nigeria both at the federal and state level to as a matter of urgency deliver on the below actions in the interest of Nigerians:
(1) Creating enabling policy, legal and resource environments to discourage and punish offenders to serve as deterrent mechanism.
(2) Scale up evidence driven prevention programming to nip in the bud GBV in Nigeria.
(3) Scale up comprehensive, accessible, and quality services for survivors of GBV in Nigeria
(4) Enable and empower autonomous girl-led and women’s rights organizations to exercise their expertise.
We join the rest of the world and in alliance with the theme of this year’s #16days of activism call for Government to end Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.”

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