Cross River: Women lawyers seek legislation against gender-based violence
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has charged the Cross River State government and House of Assembly to quickly pass and domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP Act).
FIDA, led by Mrs. Ann Awa, said when VAPP Act is passed and domesticated, it would stem the growing menace of gender and sexual-based violence within the state.
Awa, in a statement at the weekend, to end its one kilometre peaceful walk during 16 days of activism to draw global attention to harmful practices against the female gender, said for years, girls and women had suffered from several forms of violence and the time had come to nip it in the bud.
The Secretary to the Government of Cross River State, Tina Agbor, lauded donors and partners, especially the United Nations (UN) under UN Spotlight Initiative, for supporting the state to drive campaigns targeted at eradicating all forms of gender and sexual-based violence.
She said the synergy had placed the state, as a leading light in terms of concerted efforts, to check such menace.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Rita Ayim, attributed the programme’s success to the synergy among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), donors, Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Societies Organisations (CLOs).
She sued for such bond to be sustained for optimum results and called on the government to set up a “One Stop Shop Centre” in the Ministry of Women Affairs’ Gender-based Violence Centre (GBV Centre) to meet traumatised survivors’ needs. The leader of Cross River chapter of Medical Women Association (MWA), Dr. Bassey Nakanda, who was represented by Dr. Helen Unuareokpa, called for closer ties between government agencies and civic societies for effective data collation to guarantee needed intervention, saying, “such collaboration is also needed to facilitate the attainment of set goals…”