The Federal Government has intensified calls for states to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition and Child Rights Act to eradicate Gender Based Violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, made the call at the launch of State of the World Population (SWOP 2021) report with the theme: “My Body Is My Own: Claiming the Right to Autonomy and Self Determination,” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Tallen explained that domestication of the VAPP and Child Rights acts would engender a change of the narrative and perception that promoted violence against women and girls.
She said the theme of the 2021 SWOP report had potential to enforce the rights of women and girls to live with dignity.
She added: “Our focus in Ministry of Women Affairs is to end violations against women and girls, as well as seek justice for survivors.
“The continued support of the perception about females as sex toys is unacceptable.”
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora, described the launch of the report as veritable tool toward injecting new lease of life and dignity in the Nigerian citizenry, especially women.
Mamora said the launch would also help in disarming culture and beliefs that tended to deny women and girls access to equitable healthcare and sexual and reproductive health rights.
Alhaji Isa Kwarra, the Chairman, National Population Commission, said the theme was unique and capable of drawing attention to new areas of concerns regarding women bodily autonomy.
Kwarra said that bodily autonomy could be explained within the context of rights and power to make choices without fear of violence or having someone else to take decisions.
The NPC boss said the launch would present opportunities for Nigerians as a nation to identify actions and inactions that denied women and girls rights over their bodies.
Kwarra appealed for partnership among parliamentarians, UNFPA and relevant donors to implement interventions that would eradicate practices, cultural and religious beliefs that inhibited bodily autonomy of women and girls.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that SWOP report was first initiated in 1978 as an annual commemoration by UNFPA .
It highlighted diverse issues that spotlight various dimensions of concerns affecting different population groups across the world.