Yiaga Africa Demands Passage, Assent of Gender Equal Opportunities Bill

Yiaga Africa Demands Passage, Assent of Gender Equal Opportunities Bill

  • Advocacy efforts in ensuring the efficiency of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act is ongoing
  • Experts met in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to discuss the challenges of implementing the Act nationwide
  • Representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, minister of women affairs, civil society organisations and the National Assembly were part of the meeting

FCT, Abuja - Yiaga Africa on Wednesday, September 8 urged the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill ahead of its resumption on Tuesday, September 14.

The call was made by Yiaga Africa's director of programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, who also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill when it is sent to the executive arm of government.

Mbamalu made the call at the opening of a workshop in Abuja organised by Yiaga Africa in collaboration with the Spotlight Initiative.

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Yiaga Africa Demands Passage, Assent of Gender Equal Opportunities Bill
Participants at the workshop organised by Yiaga Africa and Spotlight Initiative. Photo credit: Yiaga Africa
Source: Facebook

The 2-day workshop is a meeting of stakeholders and experts geared towards deliberating on women and girls rights legislation.

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She said:

“It is time as a people we know that we build support to ensure that the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill currently before the Senate is finally passed into law in the 9th Assembly.
“Remember, this bill sponsored by Senator Abiodun Olujimi, has been presented in the 8th Assembly, and it was not passed into law.
“In the 9th Assembly, advice was given for the review session of the bill, and to work with stakeholders that the final version is presented which we received and is to be passed by the 9th National Assembly.
“The President of Senate said he will go back and also engage with stakeholders and partners to review it and he will personally support the passage of the bill.”

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She added that Buhari assent to the law when passed by the 9th Assembly, will be part of his legacy projects when he leaves office in 2023.

Mbamalu noted:

“That legislation not just protects women and girls but citizens generally because equal opportunity is about the system that allows everyone irrespective of our sex, where we come from, to utilize our potentials and usefulness.
“So it is an important legislation. Our conversation is to look at how we can build our collaborative actions to support and advocate to ensure this bill is passed into law in the 9th Assembly.”

On his part, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gender Unit, Nigeria Police Force, Usman Imam, said there is a need for all stakeholders to support the proper functioning of the unit in the fight against gender-based violence.

Also speaking, the VAPP coordinator, Dr. Ene Edeh, pointed out that the advocacy has been on for 22 years.

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Yiaga Africa commends signing of VAPP Act into law in Adamawa state

She noted that while some states have domesticated the law in their domain, others have been foot-dragging.

She said:

“The only state that has proper funding is Bauchi in the country as a whole.”

The assistant chief legal officer, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Mariam Kadiri said the NHRC has since set up a special panel to investigate cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

According to her, the panel consists of experts in women and gender-based violence who are expected to make appropriate recommendations to the government.

In her goodwill message, the minister of women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen lauded the organisers of the event for contributing their quota towards the protection of the rights of women and girls.

The minister who was represented by an assistant director in the ministry of women affairs, Ilyasu Omar Zubair said the workshop is timely at a time the country is faced with crises ranging from insecurity, banditry, and sexual-based violence.

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Yiaga Africa praises Adamawa for signing VAPP Bill

Yiaga Africa recently commended the governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for signing the VAPP Bill into law in the state.

The VAPP Act, which was passed by the Adamawa state House of Assembly in March 2021:

“prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders.”

With the signing of the Act into law, Adamawa becomes the 17th state to adopt the law since it was passed and assented to in May 2015.

Kate Mamuno instrumental to the domestication of VAPP Act in Adamawa

Recall that delegates from Connected Development (CODE) led by the Chief Executive and Malala Fund Education Champion, Hamzat Lawal, visited Kate Mamuno, a member of the Adamawa state House of Assembly representing Demsa constituency recently.

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The delegation commended Mamuno for her dedication to social development and being a role model and team player in advancing the rights of women and girls to education and a better life in the state.

CODE noted that Mamuno was instrumental to the domestication of the VAPP Act in Adamawa, imprinting her commitment towards working to eradicate violence against women and children.

Source: Legit.ng

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