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Stakeholders call for state policy against SGBV

Stakeholders have called on state and federal governments to enact laws as well as drastic measures to deter sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

They have stressed the importance of a policy document from the government to tackle the menace.

The call was made at a one-day training on sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment held in Calabar.

The social justice crusaders said it was high time that legal enactments are crafted to deal with the situation.

Remarking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara said gender-based violence often results in health challenges for survivors.

As a result of this, he said his ministry is exploring viable solutions to the challenge.

Iwara was represented by the gender focal officer in the Ministry, Mrs Felicia Ayim.

He sued for effective collaboration to tackle the prevailing challenges frontally to secure a bright future for women, girls and the vulnerable in society.

He explained that the workshop was informed by the need to develop a common framework for presentation and adoption by the government with a view to curtailing incessant cases of sexual exploitation and abuse.

In her presentation, Mercy Ejini elaborated on the various modes of sexual exploitation and harassment, noting that concrete measures need to be adopted to check the excesses of perpetrators.

Speaking, too, Deborah Asuquo, from the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, called for a drastic enlightenment campaign to acquaint the citizenry and the police with available laws needed to accelerate trial and guarantee conviction.

Participants at the workshop drawn from civic society groups, religious and traditional institutions as well as youth groups were unanimous in their demands for a state policy framework tailored towards addressing the prevailing challenge.

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