By JOY YESUFU, Abuja |
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has called for the establishment of special courts for speedy trial of suspects of violence against women especially as it concerns issues of rape.
Chairperson of FIDA Abuja branch, Mrs. Racheal Adejo-Andrew made the call during a press briefing as part of activities to commemorate 2020 16days activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) with the theme Orange the world: “Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect”.
The16 days of activism is to draw continuous attention to the menace of violence against women and the need to eliminate it.
Andrew said this year has been a challenging year in the World with the Covid-19 Pandemic particularly has been a horror for a lot of women and girls as it seems that the COVID-19 crisis intensified GBV especially domestic violence. “This is highly unfortunate” she added.
She further said FIDA Abuja appeals to Nigerian communities to make genuine efforts to protect women and girls from all forms of violence adding that FIDA Nigeria calls on all stakeholders to play an active part in the sensitization, prevention, protection and enforcement to ensure the elimination of these ills in our Society.
According to her “The call for elimination of violence is imperative as the rate of violence has escalated due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and other related reasons as reports clearly shows an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women and children.
“We must commend the amazing efforts of FIDA Nigeria who in her bid to curb the high rate of gender based violence during the lockdown engaged in different programmes, ranging from Press release/Conference, advocacy visits to Attorney General of the Federation and various States, Inspector General of Police and States Commissioner of Police, partnership with various Media houses, sensitization, rallies and social media campaigns.
“ We must also commend all the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-governmental organizations who galvanized to quickly raise an alarm against the rise in violence against women and girls, especially rape, which culminated in positive responses from government and its agencies.
“This include and are not limited to the declaration of a State of Emergency against rape by State governments, setting up of the Inter-Ministerial Gender-Based Violence Management Committee by the Attorney General of the Federation, the adoption of the VAPP Act by more States in Nigeria and so on”.
The FIDA Chairperson also said there’s need to do more since violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights in Nigeria adding that there’s need to increase awareness, raise conscious responders in local communities and strengthen partnerships with other stakeholders.
She said FIDA Nigeria in keeping in line with this year’s theme to: “ Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect” is putting together a Project to provide access of justice at the grassroots level for victims of GBV by training Community Paralegals calling on the Federal and State Governments to fund this Project in addition to the establishment of Gender Desks at Police Stations and the Ministry of Justice with trained personnel.