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Minister wants psychiatric tests for couples before marriage

The Minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen has advocated the need to make psychiatric tests compulsory as part of marriage requirements for intending couples to curtail the rising cases of gender-based violence, GBV and spousal murder.

She made this known in Abuja during a media briefing on increased gender-based violence.

According to the minister, the alarming rate of Gender-based Violence as witnessed across the country in the last few weeks was one too many which called for urgent action from relevant stakeholders to address the trend.

“From the North and South, East and West several cases are reported daily and there is the need for us to remind the masses that due process is in place to address each and every one of these cases. We can no longer be silent and watch our society degenerate to a level where GBV is practiced with impunity. As a first step to ensuring that we bring an end to this issue, I will initiate a conversation with the Honourable Minister of Interior to ensure that psychiatric test is made compulsory as part of marriage requirements in the country.” She said.

The minister of women’s affairs further said despite the declaration of a state of emergency by the 36 state governors to end GBV, the numbers were on the increase and called on state governments to implement the Child right and VAPP laws domesticated in their states.

“Our problem is not the domestication of these laws but the implementation is my greatest concern now because the numbers are on the increase. If we implement this law it would serve as a deterrent” she said.

Dame Pauline Tallen who outlined the recent cases of GBV begging for answers demanded justice for unresolved cases and urged the judiciary and the police to be proactive in addressing the backlog of GBV cases as justice delayed was justice denied.

She urged women organisations, and groups to sensitize Nigerians to shun the culture of silence and speak out when they are violated or witness any form of violence.

According to data from the ministry’s Gender-based violence situation room, over six thousand cases have been reported, with only 33 convicted cases as of the 22nd of June 2022.

Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino