NGOs call for increased political will to fight VAWG

April 25, 2021
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Foundation sensitises Taraba residents to dangers of GBV

Two Non-Governmental Organisations, Centre for Family Health Initiative (CFHI) and Girls Power Initiatives (GPI) Nigeria, have called for more political will to help fight Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The NGOs at a workshop on Thursday in Abuja, noted that the government’s effort would help to put a stop  to the rising cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.

The workshop was tagged “National Consultation on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls”.

Mrs Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, the facilitator of the workshop, said that political will from the side of the government would help to end the menace of GBV cases in Nigeria.

Onyemelukwe also called for more resources in the form of financial support for state actors and stakeholders who were willing to champion the war against GBV.

According to her, a legal framework must be created quickly around this issue and states who are yet to adopt the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 must speedily do so.

“We need the government to provide resources; some of these NGOs are doing this work with their personal funds and we are also looking at organisations outside this country to support us.

“We are also calling for more training of stakeholders to do their work. Female Genital Mutilation is gradually coming down, but domestic violence and early child marriage are still very high.

“There is a need for us to do more to put a stop to this issue or reduce it.

“The creation of Gender Unit at the police stations and Sexual Assault Referral Centres must be made to function effectively,” Onyemelukwe said.

Mrs Krystal Anyanwu, the Executive Director, CFHI, who noted that GBV had hindered many women and girls in fulfilling or achieving their dreams, called on victims to speak out against the menace.

According to Anyanwu, speaking out about GBV will help to change the mindset of perpetrators of this heinous crime, thereby helping to reduce it in the society.

She also called for more awareness and education of Nigerians on the consequences of GBV, adding that so many young men lacked education on how to manage their home leading to an increase in GBV.

Anyanwu, however, said that her centre would continue to be at the forefront of fighting GBV, advocating for victims and showing care to them.

Also, a stakeholder, Mrs Ndodeye Bassey-Obongha,   maintained that stigmatisation on the part of victims had prevented many from speaking out.

Consequently, she  called for change in the narrative.

According to her, there is a need to promote the concept of socialisation to break the culture of silence in so many people who are not willing to speak against GBV.

She called on states who had already adopted the VAPP Act 2015 to ensure implementation.

Mrs Zainab Gimba, Member, House of Representatives,  called on men to empower their women and urged them to help to reduce GBV in all spheres of life.

Gimba, who is also the Vice Chairman, House Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), called on the media to shoulder the campaign by helping to sensitise the public on what GBV was all about.

She maintained that public campaign was an effective measure to reduce the issue of GBV which was not only peculiar to Nigeria but all over the world.

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