International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, on Friday, urged the Federal Government to put in place appropriate mechanism and safe spaces for rape victims and survivors of gender-based violence.
The Chairperson of FIDA in Abuja, Rekia Adejo-Andrew, said this during a media briefing, as part of activities commemorating the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the theme for this year’s programme is: “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape!”
Adejo-Andrew also called for quick and proactive steps in reforming Nigeria’s Criminal Justice System to ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of offenders.
According to her, the different states of the federation must fast track processes to adopt and implement the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA) 2015, to ensure speedy dispensation of criminal trials.
“All generations must stand together to fight this menace called rape and indeed, all forms of violence perpetuated on our women and girls, whether young or old.
“As a branch, we intend to represent indigent women and children in achieving justice against perpetrators.
“The branch will not relent in monitoring all reported cases of rape and other forms of violence, following-up on police investigation as well as prosecuting rapists in Abuja,” Adejo-Andrew said.
She commended the survivors, who had to break the silence on rape and all forms of violence against women and girls.
The FIDA chairperson called on Nigerians to join in the efforts to combat rape and all forms of violence against women and children by reporting cases of rape and refusing to be silenced by any repugnant culture or tradition.
“We want to call for an increased eye witness reporting of rape cases.
“We need to overhaul and repeal laws which discriminate against women and girls, and there is no better place to start than by repealing Section 24(4) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“It is also important to note the need for accountability for crimes against women and girls by state actors and we, therefore, urge all stakeholders and law enforcement agencies to investigate all gender-based violence by state agents,” she said.
Adejo-Andrew called on all stakeholders to also play an active part in the sensitisation, prevention, protection and enforcement to ensure the elimination of the ills in the society.
“Let us work together to instil confidence in the administration of criminal justice, remove the stigma attached to survivors, protect victims while stopping the impunity of perpetuators and ensure they are brought to justice,” she said.
Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma and