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‘Castration not a deterrence for rapists’

Gender activists and experts on Thursday cautioned on the recently passed law which stipulates surgical castration for child rapists, saying the punishment of castration does…

Gender activists and experts on Thursday cautioned on the recently passed law which stipulates surgical castration for child rapists, saying the punishment of castration does not amount to “deterrence”.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai this week signed the Kaduna State Penal Code (Amendment) Law 2020 which provides stiff penalties upon conviction for the rape of a child, including surgical castration for male convicts and bilateral salpingectomy for female convicts

But the experts who spoke at a virtual Dialogue on “Making Change: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls organized by Red Eyes Development Initiative (REDi) said ending the scourge of rape goes beyond castrating the convicted rapists.

Some of the speakers also warned against abuse of political opponents with the new law.

Founder, the Amazing Woman, Nigeria, Buchi Nduka said such punishment could raise human rights concerns.

She however advocated for life imprisonment for rapists instead of castration, saying, “If you look at the human rights aspect of it, we have damaged that person for life.”

Nduka noted that the issue of rape and sexual abuse has become too deeply rooted and goes beyond only one gender, adding even boys “are being violated in their seminary and this is killing our children.”

According to her, the scourge of rape didn’t come out of the ordinary hence the need for the society to take a holistic look at the challenge and find a last solution.

“This is something that has to be fixed at the grassroots,” she said.

One of the participants, Chitzi Ogbumgbada said, “The punishment of castration was enacted more to serve a psychological need – to say to members of the public that, ‘We are doing something about this.”

Director, REDi Nigeria, Ekaete George stressed the need for Nigeria to protect girls and women and promote gender equality which she described as the bedrock of sustainable development.

“As a nation, we cannot go far if we have one gender behind. If you thing what they are good for is to wait for you in the room or your girls are only good for fetching firewood and water, though nothing bad in it but the tasks should not be tagged to a certain gender,” she said.

According to her, the initiative strives to empower women and tries to amplify the voices of people making efforts to promote gender quality.

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