The political will of state governments is needed to implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, VAAP.
The Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi made the call in Abuja at a two day Consultative meeting on the Implementation of VAAP law.
Though thirty two state governments had passed the law, many are yet to either gazette it or commence its implementation, according to Dr Akiyode-Afolabi.
She urged states to establish a Sexual Assault Referral Centre, the Victim Fund that would support Women and girls from gender based violence.
According to her, the law expected them to have designated family Courts that can work effectively as well train the enforcement officers.
Dr Akiyode-Afolabi called on the state government and other key stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the VAAP Act.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen represented by her Senior Special Assistant, Princess Jumai Idonije noted that the ministry would continue to work towards the protection of women in the country.
“As at August 2019, it was only thirteen states that had passed the VAAP ACT but today thirty five states had followed suit”. The Minister noted.
Dame Tallen called on the states to gazette the Act to be legal instrument in the fight against gender based violence.
She promised to engage with the governors and speakers of State Houses of Assembly to ensure that it was passage and gazetted.
The Deputy Country Representative, UN Women, Nigeria, Mr Lansana Wonneh urged the Civic Society Organizations in the Country to work towards ensuring the elimination of all violence against women and children.
Representative of the Civil Society Organizations, Dr Limota Goroso urged stakeholders to pull resources to ensure the success of the VAAP ACT in their various States.
The consultative meeting was organized for CSOs to find a way to accelerate the implementation of the VAAP ACT.
Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo; editing by Adeniyi Bakare