Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for the identification, punishment of culprits of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and adoption of preventive measures to end the scourge in the country.
Osinbajo made the call during the launch of the Nigeria Sexual Offenders Registry and Guidelines for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Abuja on Monday.
The launch is in line with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”, an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
The campaign runs every year from Nov. 25, as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, which is Human Rights Day.
The theme for this year is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”.
It is in response to the numerous abuse and marginalisation faced by women and children across the globe because of their gender and vulnerability.
The Vice President, therefore, urged countries around the world to look beyond just legislation to fix the problem, saying “look at the deep, systematic dysfunction of cultures and social norms that do not prevent sexual violence.”
He further urged citizens to challenge demeaning or degrading references to women, as well as oppose the culture of blaming victims “and teach boys to respect women.
“We must ensure that culprits are identified and punished, the greater part of our efforts should go into ensuring that we do all in our power to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place, by proactively identifying risk factors and intervening decisively to deal with them before they happen.
“There are steps that we all can take to end all forms of abuse and these include: challenging demeaning or degrading references to women; opposing culture of blaming victims.
“We also need to teach boys a sense of masculinity that respects women and accepts no type of gender-based violence and if you witness a sexual assault, call the police or contact the sexual and gender-based violence response team in your state.”
Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, reiterated the commitment of government toward ensuring that women, children and the girl-child benefit from this administration’s agenda of women empowerment.
She said “we would intensify collaboration with National Assembly and state assemblies toward reviewing and proposing amendments to legislation Gender Equality and end All Forms of Discrimination Against Girls and women.
“We would also partner state governors, traditional institutions, faith-based organisations and Civil Society Organisations to ensure access to justice and quality lives for Nigerian women and children.”
Tallen said that this year’s theme “Orange the world: Generation Equality Stand Against Rape is apt as it speaks on issues of rape, which is assuming an alarming and unacceptable proportion.
“We can no longer be silent in the face of this menace where no one is spared. Some persons have blamed indecent dressing among women as the cause of rape. This is truly laughable.
“How do we reconcile this with the rape of two weeks or six months old baby? Should indecent dressing be the reason why a 60-year old woman is raped?”, the minister asked.
She, therefore, said that “the register, aimed at naming and shaming anybody ever convicted for rape and all forms of sexual violence, would be placed in the public domain for all to see the perpetrators.”
NAN reports that the occasion was marked by a drama that portrays incidences of gender-based violence for the appropriate authorities to take measures to address them.