Abuja – On Thursday, the Federal Government pledged to establish appropriate mechanism that would eliminate gender based violence.
Hajiya Zainab Maina, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, said this at an interactive session with law enforcement officers to commemorate the 16 day of activism on violence against women.
Maina, while expressing concern over neglected incidence of gender based violence, said availability of a coherent law would enable appropriate enforcement that would ultimately reduce the menace.
The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr George Ossi, said that the incidence of rape had increased in recent time, affecting children as early as six months and elderly women of age 70.
“It is important to state that violence against women, whether in war time or at peace time, is harmful to our national development.
“It is one phenomenon that has exhibited the capacity for eroding women’s ability to participate effectively in social and economic life.
“Violence against women is an unacceptable reality, which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency."
Maina commended the Nigeria Police for successfully developing a gender policy in collaboration with UN Women and the ministry.
However, she urged the law enforcement agency to effectively disseminate the document and implement the content.
She observed that there were obstacles in the enforcement of existing laws and procedures that made it difficult for women to get relief from the existing legal frameworks.
Maina also noted that there was no comprehensive data collection to indicate cases of violence against women.
She, therefore, urged women to endeavour to report any form of violence against them to the appropriate authorities.