Connected Development (CODE) and the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria have called for an end to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and domestic abuse in Nigeria.
The duo called on state governments to adopt the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, specifically the Kano state government.
This follows the reports made by Mohammed Adamu, the inspector general of the Nigerian Police Force, that 717 rape cases were recorded in five months across the country, marking a spike in SGBV.
The VAPP Act, which clearly outlines laws to tackle violence against women and girls in Nigeria, has still not been implemented in twenty states — five years after its enactment.
In Nigeria, 17 percent of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to sexual or physical violence at least once in their lives, CODE said via a statement.
“Violence against women and girls has long-lasting and negative health, social and economic effects that can span generations, often leading to cycles of violence within families and communities. It is a pandemic that we must condemn and work towards ending,” the statement read.
Nicolas Simard, Canada’s acting high commissioner, said: “Beyond the policies, there is also action. Women do politics differently; women do business differently.”
“If you want to create jobs, you need to create small and medium enterprises. Women participation is vital for every sector to develop.”
Hamzat Lawal, CODE’s chief executive, said “although Kano State has long battled the prevalence of child rape, it is commendable that the State House of Assembly has now passed the Child Rights Act awaiting assent by the Governor.
“Still, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, needs to ensure the signing of the Child Rights Act and speedy passage of the VAPP Act and domesticate its policies- that’s a secure way to protect our women and girls from abuse and violence.”
CODE, with support from the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria, is working to support the empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized women in Kano State, including those living with disabilities, suffering from HIV/AIDS, and victims of SGBV.
The organisation said it is helping these survivors to become catalysts for change by building their capacity to advocate more effectively.
This support is said to include using technology platforms to promote respect for women’s rights, advocate for gender-responsiveness in public service delivery, and secure the adoption and implementation of the VAPP Act.