MINISTER of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan has called on states of the federation to harmonise their gender rights Acts in line with the Violence Against Persons, VAPP, Act.
Aisha Alhassan, who spoke at a media and stakeholders parley in Abuja, said though most states have passed various laws against gender-based violence, the rights of women and girls are still not respected as they still suffer from harmful cultural practices.
The minister said the ministry has constituted a committee to create awareness on VAPP Act, stressing that the act arms the victims with the necessary knowledge to resist abuses of their rights.
“Laws and policies on human rights in Nigeria are mostly inspired by international treaties, regional frameworks and national mechanisms”.
“Section 12 of the constitution stipulates that all international and regional treaties that the Nigerian Government ascents to must be passed into law by an Act of parliament in order for those treaties to be enforceable in the country,” she said.
Further, she said that the national approach based on the assumption that women’s rights at the level of law and policy are covered within the overarching framework for rights protection in Nigerian for all citizens, is not far from true.
“This is different from proven best practice at both international and regional levels where women’s human rights are disaggregated and addressed in separate frameworks in spite of the existence of more generic frameworks on human rights”.
“It is possible that this gap in terms of adopting and enforcing legal and institutional mechanisms for the furtherance of women’s human rights is responsible for the country’s latest poor ranking in the 2012 Global social institutions and gender index. Nigeria was ranked 79th position of the 86 countries considered in OECD,2012,” she said and urged stakeholders to adopt a holistic strategy for the implementation of VAPP Act.
Senator Aisha Alhassan also called on religious and traditional leaders and others to partner with the government to fight against abuses of women and girls rights as well as prevention of violence against them.

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