Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has recommended castration as punishment for perpetrators of incest in Nigeria.
“Incest is the worst form of gender-based violence, and I advocate castration as punishment for offenders,” stated Ms Tallen. “Let us name and shame the perpetrators of incest because it is the worst.”
The minister made the recommendation at a news conference commemorating ’16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)’ in Abuja on Sunday.
She described incest as the worst form of gender-based violence, which required stringent punishment as castration.
The minister appealed to the media to amplify the message to end all forms of violence against women and girls and called for states’ domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), blamed the prevalence of incest and other forms of GBV on the conspiracy of silence.
Ms Kanem noted that incest only thrived where the victim was coerced into being silent.
She expressed worry over the insecurity of the women and girls in the home where they were supposed to be protected by the family but ironically are violated.
“Sadly, the girl child who is supposed to be nurtured in her family is raped by the same family,” added Ms Kanem.
She further expressed the commitment of UNFPA to partner with Nigeria in creating a future where women and girls would be protected and dignified, saying GBV was a crime against humanity.
Ms Kanem urged Nigeria to support women’s access to family planning services and end all forms of violence against women.
Rachel Snow, Chief Population and Development Branch, expressed the determination of UNFPA to assist Nigeria to conduct a credible and reliable census.
Ms Snow described census as a critical element for national planning and development, disclosing that UNFPA is ready to support Nigeria to ensure that the census was transparent, credible, and reliable.