Nigerian Governors are taking a stand on rape and other gender-based violence against women and children.
There has been an alarming increase in the reports of sexual violence in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. More deaths, more survivors, more victims. Since the birth of the #MeToo movement, we’ve seen several women come forward to share their brave story of survival and recovery, and naming their abusers. National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) started publishing names and photographs of some convicted sex offenders on the Nigeria Sex Offender Register.
Despite protesters taking to the street and social media to demand change and justice, the Nigerian government needs to do more.
Recently the first ladies resolved to get more involved with the fight to end sexual violence, and now the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to declare a state of emergency on rape and other gender-based violence against women and children. A press release signed by the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, condemned violence against women and children and warned that offenders would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
According to Premium Times, the press release reads:
Governors have agreed to declare a State of Emergency on Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Governors strongly condemned all forms of violence against women and children and committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law.
Call on state governors that have not already domesticated relevant gender-based protection laws to domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, the Child Rights Act and the updated Penal Code to increase protection for women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to creating a sex offenders register in each State to name and shame.
Invite the Commissioners of Police to provide a detailed report on the actions taken to strengthen their response to sexual and gender-based violence through the Family Support Units and Force Gender Units at the state and local government levels.
Governors will commit additional funding for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence through appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies;
Endorse the Communique of the meeting of the First Ladies in Nigeria which held on 7th June 2020 to evaluate and mobilize action to check the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls and indeed all forms of violence against women.