No less than 3,600 cases of rape were recorded during the lockdown, caused by COVID-19 outbreak throughout Nigeria, the federal government, said on Monday, as it continued to step up its game towards ending what is fast becoming a major crisis in the country.
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, who released the damning report, regretted the upsurge, while calling for more legislation to protect the girl-child and women.
“Reports that we received from commissioners of women affairs across the 36 states of the federation revealed that each state recorded at least, 100 rape cases during the Covid-19 induced lockdown,” Tallen said during a visit to Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege on Monday.
Commending Omo-Agege for sponsoring the sexual harassment bill, which was passed in the Senate last week, she also praised the Nigeria Governors Forum for declaring a state of emergency on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
Omo-Agege while welcoming the Minister, explained that the approval of the bill was in furtherance of the legislative agenda of the 9th Senate, to protect women’s rights adding that the proposed law, would not only send a strong signal to those who may want to abuse women but ensure that students are not at the mercy of ‘sexual predators’.
The bill yet to be signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is meant to prevent, prohibit, and redress sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions, 2020, particularly prescribed a jail term of up to 14 years for any lecturer of tertiary institution caught sleeping with a female student even with her consent.
Photo: Minister of Women Affairs and Development, Dame Pauline Tallen.
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