Niger assembly calls for stiffer penalties against gender-based violence




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The Niger State House of Assembly on Friday called for stiffer punishment for offenders of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) given the serious threat it poses to safety and security of women.

Speaker of the House Abdullahi Bawa made the call when members of the state committee on 16 days activism on GBV paid a courtesy visit to the leadership of the house in Minna.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee members comprise staff of the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Civil Society Organisations and Human Rights Commission.

Bawa said that “GBV is a social menace that must be kicked out of the nation’s social system to protect and preserve the dignity of womanhood.

“There is the need to go into the nooks and crannies of the society to advocate on violence against women.

“There is also need for stiffer penalties for perpetrators of these crimes.

“We have allowed impunity into our blood which stopped perpetrators from getting the appropriate punishment and unless the law is enforced, this menace will not be curtailed”.

Hajiya Binta Mamman, Chairperson, House Committee on Women Affairs and member, representing Gurara, said there was need for all hands to be on deck to bring the issue of GBV to the barest minimum.

She said that Violence Against Persons (VAP) bill which was recently passed into law provided appropriate punishment for perpetrators of GBV.

Earlier, Malam Mustapha Yunusa, Director of Child Development, Niger State Ministry of Women Affairs, said that part of activities marking the 16-day activism on GBV was advocacy visit to relevant stakeholders to solicit their support in the fight against escalating cases of GBV.

Mr Mohammed Nuhu, Coordinator of the state Human Rights Commission, advocated the implementation of the VAP law on perpetrators of sexual offenders and other violence.

(NAN)