2020 Digital Rights Series: DNS Women Commends NGF

Nkem Nweke
Nkem Nweke

…Reiterates Call For VAPP Adoption

By Josephine Akaerr

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has been commended for declaring the rapes in the country as emergency and urged them to go beyond that to ensure adoption of the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Prohibition Act and the Child Rights Act in their domains.

Speaking at the second edition of the Digital Rights Series, hosted by ITREALMS Online, on the theme: Women and Rights in Digital Era, the founding president of Domain Name System ((DNS) Women – Nigeria), Nkem Nweke, in her opening remarks said the governors should take a step further to guarantee they domesticate these Acts in no distant time.

DNS Women Nigeria, a champion entity tackling gender disparity in DNS industry, noted at the webinar series, that ensuring both Acts received prompt attention at the States’ Houses of Assemblies and eventually got signed into laws in 31 states of the federation should be paramount, so that Nigerians could take the emergency declaration by NGF seriously.

She also recalled that as at date, only five states have signed the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Prohibition Act in five years, which included Lagos and Ekiti States.

“…Since 23rd May, 2015, when Violence Against Persons (VAP) Prohibition Act was signed into law. That is five years after and not encouraging for our society that wants the best from our women folk in digital era,” she lamented.

As said by her, DNS Women Nigeria with her partners including DigitalSENSE Africa, ITREALMS and NaijaAgroNet, took a stand to express their displeasures and drum support for Nigerian  women and girls and against rapists in the country; hence this webinar.

The United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG) Goals 5 – Gender Equality, Nweke pointed out, harped on “Women and girls, everywhere, must have equal rights and prospects, and be able to live free of violence and discrimination.

“Therefore, our women and girls rights and lives matter, whether online or offline,” she said, maintaining that women’s equality and empowerment were integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development of 17 SDGs.

“And building on the principle of ‘leaving no one behind,’ the new agenda should underline a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all,” she said.

Other top speakers at the session were author and activist, Morenike Adebayo and development actor based in United Kingdom, Abimbola Junaid.

The session was attended by Executive Secretary, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Edith Udeagu, former president of NIRA,  Mary Uduma, President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Dotun Oladipo, publisher of News Express,  Isaac Umunnah, Lagos State Council Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Dr. Quasim Akinreti, Head of Secretariat of African Regional Organisations (AFRALO) Sarah Kiden and Associate at  Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) , Liz Orembo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Executive Director of Women in Technology, Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi, to name a few.

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