ByÂ Laide Akinboade
ABUJA â€”Â Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman, has called on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other law enforcement agents, to ensure prompt report of violence against women and children.
Salamatu said this at the 10th anniversary of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, adding that the law enforcement agents should be legally binded to report any violence against women and children.
The theme of 2009 of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women is “Commit, Act, Demand: We can end violence against women.”
According to her, â€œNigeria Police and other law enforcement agents should be legally bound to seriously report violence against women and children and therefore should no more treat them with levity.â€
She said in the event that the survivor needs to prove cruelty, reports from police, hospitals and designated agencies should be accepted in evidence.
She urged the Federal Government to ensure that survivors of domestic violence who report to law enforcement agencies were provided with medical attention including medical examination.
She stressed that violence against women was human right issue so the right of women must be recognised and respected.
She said though there were still lot of ambiguity in the Constitution of the country, addressing violence against women which include, â€œnon enforcement by enforcement officers, insensitivity of law enforcement officers, lack of political will and inadequate punishments for perpetrators and accomplices of violence against women.â€
Suleiman noted that one of the greatest obstacles to the development of women in Nigeria was the violation of the basic rights of women.
Chairman Senate Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development and Youth Development, Senator Eme Ufot Ekaette, in her address said violence against women affected millions of women worldwide in all socio-economic and educational background.
â€œIt cuts across cultural and religious barriers, impeding the right of women to participate fully in society. It takes a dismaying variety of forms, from domestic abuse and rape to child marriages and female circumcision.â€