Women group honour conference of Speakers for massive passage of VAPP law

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The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria has bagged awards from coalition of Women Groups for massive passage of Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Law by various State Houses of Assembly in the Country.

Presenting the awards to the Conference during an interactive dinner with the Speakers in Abuja on Thursday, the Chairperson of the Group Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi explained that Conference of Speakers played important role toward the passage of the VAPP Law which has brought succour to the survivors of gender-based violence and provided opportunity to further consolidate efforts to support women in Nigeria.

The Group which comprised Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Women’s Right Advancement Protection Alternative (WRAPA), National Coalition for Affirmative Action (NCAA), Feminist Womanifesto and Gender and Constitution Review Network (GERCON) honours the Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman with Titan of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law Award while other Speakers bagged Heroes of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law Awards.

In his response, the Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman expressed the appreciation of the Conference for the honour.

He explained that violence against women remains one of the most widespread, prevalent, and largely unpunished violations of human rights in the world today thus Legislatures at the National and State level are key stakeholders in the elimination of gender-based violence in all its forms and are strategically placed to drive the national changes required to achieve the aim.

The Chairman added that Legislatures have both individual and collective responsibility to not only enact strong legislation but also to monitor the implementation of the law and hold the executive arm of government accountable for making the legislation more effective.

“We applaud all the Speakers of the States that have taken the giant step of passing the law in Nigeria. However, the work has just began and it will not end with the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law.

“As progressive Legislatures, we have the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of this legislation. We must act through parliamentary questions and debates concerning the budget to advocate for the allocation of resources to the effective implementation of the law. In addition, prepare strategic arguments, particularly concerning the economic costs to the executive as a result of not effectively addressing gender- based violence against women.” He said.

The Chairman the Conference will remain committed to continuous partnership with civil society organisations particularly women rights organisations to support State Action Plans on ending GBV through oversight role and support women’s representation in decision making through supporting gender alterations in constitution amendment.

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