By Ruth Oketunde
Abuja, – Community Aid and Girl Child Support Initiatives (Comaid_gcsi),
an NGO, has called for prompt response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases in Mpape
Community, a suburb in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The group made the call at a one-day stakeholders meeting, organised to draw up strategies for
engagement and means of breaking the culture of silence surrounding the menace.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is tagged “The Impact of Gender-Based Violence in the Community”.
Ms Jemilat Abdul-azeez, the Executive-Director, Community Aid and Girl Child Support Initiative, said the objective
of the meeting is to help in the elimination of GBV in the community.
She added that this would be achieved through stakeholder’s engagement and effective advocacy.
Abdul-azeez said that the meeting, which is under the UN Spotlight Initiative Project, is also aimed at strengthening SGBV protection
for women’s rights advocates and marginalised groups.
According to her, SGBV has become a pandemic in the society, hence the need for adequate sensitisation on how to handle the challenge.
She added that “the issue of gender-based violence affects hundreds of millions of people around the world.
“This has peculiar implications for people with marginalised racial, ethnic, class, indigenous, or disabled status.
“Violence against women and girls is among the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in the world.
“But much of it is often unreported due to norms and practices that further entrench gender inequality through the culture of impunity, public shaming and forced silence.
“That is why we are engaging key stakeholders in this community to ensure that we create a gender desk, get cases reported and break the culture of silence.”
Malam Abdulkareem Abdullazeez, a Muslim cleric, commended the organisation for the sensitisation, saying “this is a wakeup call for us to get involved in ending sexual and gender-based violence in our community.
“We are ready to support the survivors and make sure they get justice.”
On his part, Pastor Raymond Afia, a cleric, urged the survivors to be bold to speak out, adding that the Church community would give survivors the necessary support.
Mrs Edith Ugochukwu, Market Women Leader, urged women to report any form of domestic violence they face in their homes, so as to reduce the rate of unnecessary deaths in the country.
She said “so many women are dying in silence; some lose their lives because of this gender-based violence, which is not meant to be.
“As this NGO has enlightened us on what to do to reduce such cases, we are ready to take up the cases and make sure they get justice.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting had in attendance religious leaders, market women, youth groups, persons with disabilities,