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Centre urges Ondo State Assembly to domesticate Act to protect women

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The Justice Development and Peace Centre (JDPC) has raised the alarm over increasing rate of violence against women, urging improved life-saving services for women and girls.

It also noted that Ondo State was the only state in the South-West yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in the region.

The JDPC Programme Officer, Catholic Diocese, Akure, Mr. Austin Ogunleye, said this at the weekend during the 16-day of activism against gender-based violence in Akure.

He said JDPC survey showed that women also suffered economic violence, which ranged from lack of quality education, healthcare, among others, to enhance their productivity.

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Ogunleye, who is also the state Co-ordinator of STOP-VAWIP, noted that there was need to engage women as allies to reduce violence against selves, revealing the hash-tag as “MenMustDoMore.”

He appealed to Ondo State House of Assembly, as a matter of urgency, to quickly review and enact the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill to provide protection for women.

He urged the citizens of the state to start engaging their representatives at the Assembly on the bill, assuring that its passage would address issues of violence in all ramifications and comprehensively too.

“We want to use this opportunity to appreciate Ondo State government for transmitting the VAPP draft to the House of Assembly. This for us is a good development.

“However, we want to call on the honourable members of Ondo State House of Assembly to expedite action on the VAPP draft. The VAPP draft, when passed into law, will further enhance the fight against gender-based violence in the state,” he said.

Ogunleye also said there was need for security agencies in the state to do more in terms of prosecuting cases of gender-based violence, adding that the state needs their patriotism in fighting the social menace.

“We wish to call on the Chief Judge of Ondo State to make sure that cases of gender-based violence are given speedy trial. More so, we call on the government through the office of the wife of the governor, to do more in providing quality education, healthcare and other social amenities that will dignify women of Ondo State.

“Also, the office of the wife of the governor should provide empowerment for women so we can have more women contributing to the economy of the state and nation as a whole,” he further said.

JDPC said it would continue to advocate for behavioural change, sensitize citizens, track and respond to cases of gender-based violence and improve on women’s political participation in the state.

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