Participants at a multi-stakeholder dialogue meeting on violence against women in Sokoto state have called for concerted efforts among community groups to check Gender Based Violence (GBV) and to expose perpetrators of the act.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was a capacity building event aimed at strengthening their strategies under Spotlight Initiative Project to eliminated violence against women and girls.
The Spotlight Initiative is a project sponsored by the European Union, UNICEF, the Federal Government, United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
During a session on Monday, Malam Baba Sani and Alhaji Aminu Dikko, coordinators of Child Protection Network in Illela and Binji Local Government Areas of Sokoto state, stressed the need for proactive measures to tackle the menace.
The duo shared experiences and ways they handled cases which at most times were subdued due to intervention of leaders and other influential persons.
According to them, survivors were subjected to various forms of psychological trauma, neglect and discrimination while perpetrators went free in the communities.
In her contribution, Sokoto State Coordinator of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), Hajia Ummul Khair Ambursa, described the situation as alarming which deserved joint effort by all people.
Ambursa urged community groups to be bold enough in exposing the perpetrators as well as follow up the cases at investigative and prosecution levels.
The WRAPA/EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Project Coordinator, Mr Oluwayemisi Nathaniel, said Nigeria was characterised by gender inequality in almost all areas of human development.
The Head, Save The Child Initiative (STCI) in Sokoto, Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, called for attitudinal change and public perception on gender based violence in order to have society free of violations.
Abubakar appealed to stakeholders to educate others in their respective areas noting that the meeting was to strengthen members’ capacity and develop the strategies to handle issues.
He stressed that increased voices against the menace and joint partnership among community groups would ensure justice to the survivors as well as play great roles on curbing the crimes at all levels of the society.
NAN recalled that the Sokoto State Hisbah Commission had in 2019 recorded 606 rape cases across the state.(NAN)