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Stakeholders call for increased advocacy to end sexual violence

Stakeholders call for increased advocacy to end sexual violence

By Ahmed Ahmed

Stakeholders on girl child Empowerment, Education and Health in Bauchi State have called for the need to work together with individuals in communities to end the menace of sexual violence against women and girls.

They made this call at a 2-day workshop in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, 2024 organized by Attah Sister’s Helping Hands (ASHH) Foundation on Response Action to Women Peace and Security Pillars Participation, Prevention, Protection, Relieve and Recovery as a Means to Promoting Gender Sensitivity in Bauchi State, with the support in Bauchi

They called on stakeholders to work together and raise advocacy towards girl child empowerment, to help the girl realize her dreams and achieve her potential, since girls are vulnerable and can do little to support themselves.

Mrs Jamila Sule, Civil Society Organizations CSO, speaking on the contribution of parents towards ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence said parents are not doing much when it comes to issues relating to sex and sex education for the girl child.

She therefore encouraged parents to start giving their girl child sex education at homes before they end up being influenced with wrong information because they do not have knowledge about sex and its related issues.

On her part, Barrister Sadiya Saleh, Vice Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Bauchi Branch, Sadiya Saleh lamented that the sexual gender based violence situation is gradually degenerating.

She said that rape cases in Bauchi are among the highest across the 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory.

“This is because almost on a weekly basis, we record not less than 10 cases of child rape in the State. The rate is very, very high and this is in children not rape among women generally, but in children below the age of 10.”

According to her, they keep sensitizing that stakeholders including parents, teachers, traditional rulers, religious leaders, Non-Governmental Organizations and journalists must be on board to achieve results and reduce the rising menace of rape and other crimes to the barest minimum.

She said that awareness is lacking because many people are not aware of what is happening, the implications of what they’re doing and the repercussions stressing that it is because of that that everyone is needed on board to spread the word.

Also speaking, the Bauchi State Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Yahcit Dala said that several efforts have been made over the years to address gender based violence against women and girls especially the creation of the VAPP Law.

Dala in her presentation on “Safe Spaces for Women and Girls: Promoting human rights,” said “VAPP Law criminalizes offenses such as; spousal battery, forceful ejection from home, forced financial dependence, harmful widowhood practices, and other harmful traditional practices.”

She added that, “VAPP Law makes provision for victims and survivors to be entitled to comprehensive medical, psychological, social and legal assistance.”

She stressed that, “VAPP Law provides for protection of identities of victims and survivors

Dala also said that for the purpose of the laws to be achieved, the government and stakeholders must go beyond the passage and implementation of the laws pointing out that there is a need to enhance capacity for expert knowledge and expertise to handle women children’s rights violations.

She added that social security and other safety nets must be established to resolve basic human needs that engender the abuse of the rights of women and girls; as well as the need for periodic review or survey assessing the impact of legal and policy measures addressing the rights of women and girls.

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