Gov’s wife urges holistic measures to check gender-based violence at grassroots

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WIFE of Kebbi State governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu, has called for holistic measures to effectively tackle gender-based violence at the grassroots level.

Malam Yahaya Sarki, the Special Adviser to Gov. Atiku Bagudu on Media, said in a statement that Mrs Bagudu made the appeal at a Digital Summit in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by an NGO, Movement Against Rape and Sexual Violence (MARS-V).

Bagudu spoke on the topic: “Obstacles to Invoking Chance in Gender Based Laws”.

The governor’s wife said that the advocacy centred on high level of discussions on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) and Child-Rights Acts.

She explained that grassroots advocacy needed to be stepped-up in order to yield positive results.

Bagudu urged government at all levels and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria to step-up efforts toward finding lasting solution to the menace of gender-based violence.

According to her, it is essential to note that the whole issue was about people’s culture.

“There is a general culture of silence among people at the grassroots.

“We need to constantly engage the rural gatekeepers at the grassroots; the religious and traditional rulers, because they are major facilitators to domesticating and implementing laws against sexual violence.

“Secondly, in order to change the mindset that Female Genital Mutilation is wrong and people are supposed not to mutilate a girl-child, we have to engage them very well.

“Although, we had tried in recent times, but there is the need to put in more efforts because there are major obstacles that we have faced.

“Even those that have little understanding have their own belief and interpretation of verses of the holy Qur’an, so we are finding ways of getting that mindset changed.”

The governor’s wife also bared her mind on the reformed Penal Code laws for Northern States compared to what was obtainable in the Southern part of the country.

The VAPP Act, according to her, is an improvement of the pre-existing laws, which considered a lot of things that the other laws did not treat, aside from the punishment.

“It is also imperative that Northern States that practice the Penal Code improves on it, so that they will be able to adapt the VAPP Act and so many other issues.

“Recently in Kebbi State, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu presented the last bill to the state House of Assembly, alongside the Child-Rights and the VAPP Act for hearing and passage into law.

“There is hope that the bills will see the light of the day, since the reformed Penal Code has already been adapted in the state,” she noted.

The governor’s wife commended the concerted efforts by the civil societies and advocates, including the development partners and agencies like the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), when the current outcry on gender-based violence began.

“Although, Nigeria is a large country, but there is the need to categorise it into zones, so that there will be a way in which everybody can have a voice to speak to a peculiar need of their areas.”

The webinar which is entitled: “Ending the Culture of Impunity in Cases of Rape and Gender Based Violence,” was anchored by renowned TV Host, Vimbai Mutinhiri-Ekpeyong.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State was the Guest Speaker, while his wife Aisha El-Rufai, and UNFPA Ambassador on Fistula and the wife of Niger State governor, Amina Abubakar Sani Bello, were guest speakers, among others.

NAN

– Jul. 6, 2020 @ 14:19 GMT |

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