UN Women, GAT train 40 Kaduna women on gender-based violence
The Borno State Government, at the weekend, confirmed 4,104 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) were reported among female and male victims between January and July this year.
Ministry of Women Affairs disclosed that the victims comprised 3,805 females and 239 victims in various communities of the state.
Lamenting the rising SGBV cases in the state, Director of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Falmata Hamza, said at a media briefing in Maiduguri that the lack of gender desks in police stations was a major hindrance to the prosecution of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) suspects in Borno.
She explained that the briefings on GBV were supported by the European Union (EU) and British Council to mark the 16 days of activism on World Human Rights Day, adding that despite reporting cases with increased awareness and engagement of stakeholders, only 51 suspects of GBV were convicted within the period.
Hamza also pointed out that to overcome violence, work was in progress to establish two SARC centres in Monguno and Biu.
Besides, she added that there would be free access to medical and psychosocial services at the State’s Ministry of Health, Women Affairs and other partners.
She pledged that the services would be provided along with livelihood support for survivors through the support and
assistance from UN-Women and FAO.
She attributed GBV to some of the challenges of late reporting of cases, community interferences and delay in the prosecution of suspects.
The Gabasawa Initiative Programme Manager, Oluwatoyin Salau said that the briefings are to improve public awareness on the ongoing issues of GBV.
Representative of the British Council, Emmanuel Iyaji, also condemned the increasing cases of GBV in Borno, saying the the16-day activism was to check violence against women and girls towards, as well as sensitise them on their rights.
They should be encouraged to seek justice in the courts, she declared.
He urged the public to join the crusade in the fight against SGBV in society, stressing that such threats were capable of destroying women, girls and children in society.
Representative of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Hadiza Brabi, said it was important that stakeholders should engage in sensitisation and mobilisation campaigns across the state to stamp out SGBV.
“Cases of GBV are becoming rampant, if not prominent in Borno. Governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should intervene to address the ugly trend.
Such interventions are in the overall interest of women and girls in society,” she added.
MEANWHILE, the Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) and UN Women have trained no fewer than 40 women in Kaduna North, Kachia, Zaria and Kajuru councils of Kaduna State to end all forms of GBV in the state.
The women, who were drawn from the Women for Peace and Security (WPS), were trained on the legal framework against the menace.
Executive Director of GAT, Dr. Lydia Umar, urged women to go back to their communities and encourage people to seek justice for gender-based violence, pointing out that with the theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism: Break The Silence And Seek Justice, violators would continue to engage in the act if people refuse to report their violations.