FG To Establish Mobile Courts On FGM, Sexual Harassment In Schools

FG To Establish Mobile Courts On FGM, Sexual Harassment In Schools
  • PublishedSeptember 1, 2023
  • Kazeem Badmus

The Federal Government in a bid to enhance women’s participation in governance and combat gender-based violence including FGM, is set to establish mobile courts.

The move which targets issues such as Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, and sexual harassment in tertiary institutions, was announced at a media roundtable in Abuja yesterday, OSUN DEFENDER gathered.


Organized by Change Managers International Network, drivers of the 100 Women Lobby Group, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Global Affairs Canada, and ActionAid Nigeria, the meeting also highlighted the government’s commitment to achieving 50-50 gender inclusion in governance.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Barr. Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, provided details of the proposed mobile courts: “Addressing violence against women is a complex issue that requires careful examination, as it involves the participation of both genders. Therefore, I believe that a different approach is necessary to effectively combat it.

“Implementing a mobile court system to address female genital mutilation and the abuse of girls by university lecturers is a significant step in this regard..

“I had a conversation with Mr President two nights ago, who granted me permission to address this matter. I also had a meeting with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) yesterday (Wednesday). However, during our discussion, we faced several obstacles, such as determining the extent of involvement of the state governors.

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“The AGF mentioned that once the Chief Justice of Nigeria returns from vacation, we can proceed with the establishment of a mobile court.

“We need a mobile court to facilitate our efforts in sensitizing the public about gender-based violence, particularly Female Genital Mutilation as an offense that should not be condoned.

“I will be attending the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to discuss this matter. Let’s collaborate and find ways to take immediate action.”

Ohanenye revealed that paid whistleblowers would be employed, and culprits of FGM and other forms of gender-based violence would be prosecuted in the mobile courts.

The minister advocated a 50-50 gender ratio in governance, stating that this balanced distribution could bring potential societal changes.

“Regarding affirmative action for women’s inclusion in governance, I find that a 35% quota is too lenient. Initially, I proposed a ratio of 70% for women and 30% for men, in order to provide women with a fair opportunity.

“However, I am now advocating for a 50-50 percentage distribution. By reducing the allocation from 70% for women to a balanced 50-50 ratio, we can observe the potential impact on societal dynamics.

“If we continue to wait for men to elevate us to the positions we desire, we will never reach our goals. The time for change is now.

“We must be prepared to fight for our rights in governance, even if it means protesting with placards or wearing black T-shirts to demonstrate our readiness,” she stated.

Also speaking at the event, former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Josephine Anenih, emphasized the need for women to strategize and overcome societal barriers to their progress in governance.

“We need to re-strategize as women and identify what is holding us back in governance. Wealthy women should support other women in finding a place in governance,” Anenih said.

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