Nigeria will eliminate gender-based violence



Mrs Aisha Al-Hassan, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, says Nigeria is readiness to eliminate gender-based violence in the society.

The minister, who made the remark at a meeting of the 69th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Tuesday in New York, condemned gender-based violence.

She said the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act enacted in May 2015 criminalised all forms of gender-based violence, harmful practices against women and girls, rape, and economic and political marginalization.

The minister also said the national gender policy and its strategic implementation framework and plan focused on reproductive health, education, countering violence against women, and economic empowerment.

She added that the Federal Government had created programmes that addressed specific social needs, such as skills acquisition for youths, meals for primary school students and financial support to one million female marketers and artisans.

Al-Hassan called on Member States to implement national policies to combat gender-based violence and other human rights violations.

The minister called on Member States to focus more on the root causes of violence.

Mrs Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Women, Equalities and Family Justice of the United Kingdom, said women were at the eye of the storm of conflict and repression.

Dinenage said women’s bodies have also become the focus of social and cultural battles and the object of aggression and contempt.

She said women had the right to live free of fear, noting that UK recently launched a new cross-Government Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

The strategy, she added, sets out ambitious plans to prevent violence, support victims and take action against perpetrators.

Minister for Family and Promotion of Women of Angola, Mrs Maria Delgado, spoke on progress in protecting women from sexual abuse, violence and early marriage in her country.

Delgado noted that Angola, in 2015, created a domestic violence hotline, as well as family counselling centres and shelters.

Laurence Rossignol, Minister for Families, Children and Women’s Rights of France, said human rights violations continued to occur due to religious extremism and under the guise of cultural relativism.

Rossignol said that women were raped as a weapon of war or were reduced to slavery by groups such as Da’esh.

He, however, said such violations were not limited to war zones.

He added that domestic violence, forced marriages and female genital mutilation, occurred around the world.

Mrs Tatau Godinho, Secretary of Policies for Women’s Work and Economic Autonomy of Brazil, said her country had “Women: living without violence” programme to fight gender-based violence.

Godinho said that Brazil set up 27 facilities to provide help for female victims of violence.

In addition, she said, Brazil recently passed a Bill criminalising femicide, which imposed harsher penalties for those who harmed or killed women or girls.

Ministers and other senior officials from Botswana (on behalf of Southern African Development Community), Papua New Guinea (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum), Canada, Morocco, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Japan also spoke.

Others were Peru, Israel, Poland, Republic of Korea, Qatar, Iceland, Austria, Mozambique, South Africa, Bahrain, Côte d’Ivoire, Norway, Czech Republic, Cuba, Lithuania, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Paraguay, among others.

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