The Director General, National Centre for Women Development, Mary Ekpere-Eta, has called on relevant agencies to support the centre in creating National Data-board on gender based violence.

Mrs Ekpere-Eta made the appeal during the workshop on Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW policy fora in Abuja.

She explained that the data board on gender based violence was to enhance better tracking and prosecution of offenders, rehabilitate and compensate victims and their families.

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Mrs Ekpere-Eta said it would also provide for better planning and programmes on gender based violence.

“An identified major challenge to implementing existing laws with regards to gender based violence is the non- availability of a one-stop Centre for data on the trends, patterns, features and driving factors behind gender based violence.

“There is paucity of data on gender based violence, to improve documentation and gender data bank in Nigeria is creating a data board on gender violence trends across the country,” she said.

Mrs Ekpere-Eta said that it was only Lagos and Ekiti states who maintained a record on sexual crime, adding that the VAPP Act, 2015, Section 1(4) provides that a Register for convicted sexual offenders should be maintained and accessible to the public.

She however called on law enforcement agencies to ensure that issues of gender based violence were taken seriously, saying that perpetrator should be punished adequately.

The Gender Adviser, Nigeria Policing Programme, Mrs Eleanor Nwadinusi, said the challenges of Gender based violence should be addressing the cultural impediments.

She also said those victims of violence should be assured of confidentiality, saying there should be no hiding place for perpetrators.

The Convener of Women Arise Development and Humanitarian Initiative, WADHI, Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia, said the convention was one of the core international human rights treaties of the UN and it requires states, parties to undertake legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CEDAW is an international human rights treaty which is often described as a bill of rights for women.

CEDAW sets out what governments must do to improve the situation of women living in the country, including addressing gender stereotyping and violence against women, promotion of gender equality in public life and protection of women’s rights to education, health and employment.