Women lawyers want stricter law against rape

The International Federation of Women Lawyers has decried the rising cases of rape in the country, while demanding that there should be stricter law and penalties for the offenders.

The Regional Vice-President of the federation, Mrs Victoria Awomolo (SAN), stated this in Abuja at a press conference, noting that the police must enforce the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015.

The conference was to announce the African congress of the federation holding from October 11 to 15 in Abuja, Nigeria, where over 500 female lawyers from across Africa would be meeting.

The theme of the congress is “Growth of women and children in Africa beyond rhetoric.”

Awomolo said female lawyers were pushing for “more sanctions against rapists, men and women who cannot keep their hands off young children.”

She said, “The spate of rape cases is alarming. In fact, it is embarrassing. From our discussion with sister countries in Africa, it is the same thing they are experiencing. And so, we have been in the forefront of pushing for sanctions against rapists, men and women who cannot keep their hands off young children and people against their consent.

“The federation was also in the forefront of the promulgation of the VAPA 2015. I am advocating that the police should begin to use this act to combat the scourge. We have the federation in 32 states in Nigeria.

“What informed our theme is that there has been a lot of discrimination against women in the homes, workplaces and cultural practices don’t favour us. The one that is on the front burner is gender violence. It is becoming very rampant now, particularly the cases of rape.

“You see fathers raping their daughters; uncles raping infants and a child as young as six months. You wonder why and we are happy that the culture of silence that used to prevail is now giving way. And so, these are the issues that will form our discussion. As we speak, we have over 530 delegates who have registered for this congress and of course, this is the African roundtable.”
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