Minister lauds President Jonathan for signing VAPP Act into law
Hajiya Zainab Maina , the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill.
Maina said this at a news conference held by Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women (LACVAW) on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said that the bill would reduce the incessant occurrence of gender related violence in the country.
According to her, women are usually more victims of violence than the men; noting that the violence in the North East region affected the women folk more than the men.
“The violence in the North East had affected a lot of women as they suffer from one trauma or the other.
“The bill will go a long way to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the occurrence of gender based violence in the society especially in homes, public spaces or even in conflict situation,’’ she said.
Maina commended the efforts of LACVAW in ensuring that the bill got to a final stage, adding that a lot was still to be done at the state level.
Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi, Secretary-General of WRAPA who doubles as the group leader of LACVAW, said the bill was a 14-year-long process of activism in civil society.
“As we celebrate the birth of the VAPP Act, LACVAW implores us to gear up for the more difficult task of popularising the law.
She said that this would enable women, counsels and response institutions become aware of its availability.
According to her, there will be close monitoring of the bill to ensure compliance with its provisions and award of its protection and reliefs for survivors as well as ensuring accountability for perpetrators of violence in order to end impunity.
Mahdi said the struggle for the passage of the VAPP Law and other complementary legislations to prohibit the violence against women should be sustained.
“We want to leave the stage confident that our daughters and the generation of girls’ yet unborn will live in a society that is responsive and protective of human dignity,’’ she said.
Mahdi said recently the Plateau State House of Assembly had passed the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Bill, adding that it brings to five the number of states that had passed the law.
She said the other states are Imo, Ekiti, Kogi and Anambra. Mahdi said LACVAW calls on its partners to continue to support the process of enacting anti-violence legislation at the state level.