FG Inaugurates Integrity Brigade to Safeguard Women, Children April 7

Folalumi Alaran in Abuja 

The Federal Government has said it will on March 7, 2024 inaugurate a transparency and integrity brigade to monitor and ensure that women and children are adequately protected in Nigeria.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, disclosed this in Abuja Wednesday at a conference for commissioners of ministries of women affairs organized by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), supported by the European Union (EU) and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

The theme of the event was ‘Critical Issues and Opportunities for Enhancing Rights, Protection and Justice for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities.’

The minister, who lamented the low budgetary allocation to the Women Affairs Ministry in the 2024 appropriation bill, assured Nigerians that the present administration would not take issues concerning women for granted.

She said the women e-market portal would link up with manufacturers, buyers, sellers and others in the marketing chain to encourage entrepreneurship, skill acquisition and self- reliance.

“The goal of this Integrity Brigade is to create a formidable force capable of identifying and addressing challenges faced by women and children, who constitute over 70 per cent of the Nigerian population.

“The upcoming conference, scheduled for the 7th of March 2024, will serve as a platform to unveil the Integrity Brigade and discuss the measures to be implemented. It is expected to outline specific actions, including the deployment of mobile courts and enhanced security measures in places like Pottstown Market, known for its significance to women.

“No stone will be left unturned in ensuring the safety and protection of women and children. Any mistreatment of women or children would be met with swift and decisive action. The initiative is non-discriminatory in nature and promises to  support all women, regardless of their background or affiliations,” she said

The Head of Programme, International IDEA, Nigeria, Danladi Plang, on his part said the key focus of the conference was to bring to attention some of the key challenges that women, children and persons with disabilities in Nigeria face when they want to access the justice system.

He said: “Whether it is our belief, legal system, or whether it is a woman that has been sexually assaulted, or whether it is persons with disabilities, they have challenges in terms of accessing justice.

“So, the first thing is to draw attention to some of the challenges they face. And then the second one is also to present to them some of the opportunities that are available for them to make justice more accessible to these categories of people. 

“It also goes to the issue of inclusion in the sense that these categories of persons are people that are really on the margins of our society. They are the ones that face SGBV in our communities. 

“The point of call will be to ensure that these laws are passed whether it’s a Child Rights Act, whether it’s Disability Rights Act, whether it’s violence against persons,” he explained.

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