Ekiti Assembly achieves another first
The Ekiti State House of Assembly has emerged the first legislature in the country to pass into law, the Gender Based Violation Bill, which provides protection from gender- based violence, particularly for women and children.
The bill was passed into law last Thursday, following a public hearing which recorded an unprecedented crowd, mainly women and representatives of non governmental organizations and professional groups at the Assembly.
The Gender Based Violation (GBV) Bill was sponsored by the Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Social Development & Gender Empowerment; Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Planning and MDGs; and the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Ekiti), in response to rising cases of gross abuses affecting individuals or group of individuals disproportionately because of their sex.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin said the importance of the law cannot be overemphasized, adding that its passage will go a long way to reduce crime and also guarantee the rights of the citizens some forms of abuses.
The GBV law covers diverse types and forms of violence. These include acts or threats to commit acts liable to result in physical, sexual, economic and emotional, verbal or psychological abuse. Harassment, including sexual harassment, exploitation and intimidation by inducing fear in another person and all acts of domestic violence perpetrated by intimate partners and family members.
It also covers harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and Widowhood Rites; imposition of dress codes under any guise; child marriage and criminalising pregnancy outside marriage.
The passage of the bill ensures that gender-based violence represents a serious crime against individuals and the society. The Bill details the procedures for filling complaints to the Police and ways of obtaining protection orders from the court to prevent individuals or groups from carrying out a threat of gender-based violence against applicants. The Bill provides protection for people against possible abuse as well as ensures justice for those that have experienced different forms of gender based violence.
It is recalled that Ekiti State Assembly, had earlier in June passed the Freedom of Information (FOI) law, thereby making the state the first to domesticate the law in the country.