Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, says her ministry has concluded plans to constitute a mobile court to try Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases.
The minister, who said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that it was aimed at increasing the visibility of the activities of the ministry in dealing with SGBV issues.
Kennedy-Ohaneye disclosed that among the would-be culprits to be arraigned at the court were those still practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to put an end to the old traditional practice nationwide.
The minister said the board of directors of the ministry had given its tacit support in the ministry’s avowed determination of giving women a voice in the society.
“This will be done in line with Mr President’s renewed hope agenda”, saying that they would work to allow the poor to breathe and not to be suffocated,” she said.
According to her, the dispensation of cases at the mobile court will be in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Attorney General of the Federation, Ministry of Justice, Nigeria governor’s forum, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other Security Agencies.
She said partnering with other organisations was to have an innovative way to enforcing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, and other laws to guide against SGBV, GBV and FGM.
According to the minister, the sanitary towels the ministry usually gives to students will be transformed to a setting up “Sanitary Pad Production Centre” as the old method can no longer be sustainable.”
She also said the ministry had stopped the old practice of distribution of gas cylinder to rural women.
“it’s no longer sustainable, as the ministry is now concerned about who refills the gas cylinder for these women when it’s finished,”she said.
She disclosed that the ministry would change the old support method to charcoal burners and bio gas stoves because of its cost effectiveness.
Kennedy-Ohaneye added that the ministry had concluded plans to set up women cooperative societied aimed at empowering the women folk.
The scheme, she said, would be run in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Traders Associations and other international organisations.
The minister assured Nigerians that its creche and other assets, currently underutilised, would be revived and begin to function uptimally within her first 100 days in office.
“The ministry has opted to encourage all women groups to form cooperatives and register with the ministry.
“The aim is to enable the ministry empower them with different production machines to boost the nation’s economy, livelihood of women and for national development,” she said