By Fortune Eromosele
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to observe this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from today, 25 November to 10 December, a Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Thursday, staged a campaign against violence against women and girls.
The campaign, having the global theme: “Orange the world: End violence against women and girls now,” would advocate for inclusive, comprehensive and long-term strategies, programmes and resources to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spaces as well as prioritizing the most marginalized women and girls.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Executive Director of the Tabitha Cumi Foundation, Arc. Adetayo Erinle, said ending violence against women and girls must involve a deliberate collaboration with government, private sectors, non-governmental organisations, CSOs, faith and traditional leaders.
Erinle, who spoke after the official launch of the Flashlight Actions on Girls Safety (FLAGS) project, said the project will create safe spaces in the community for learning facilitated by teachers and link survivors of gender-based violence to a virtual case management hub coordinated by Mama-yara, an health officer working with the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA and the police.
The project, sponsored by the United Nations Trust Fund on ending violence against women and girls to support 750 marginalized adolescent girls between the ages of 10-19 in 10 communities of the FCT, Nasarawa and Niger states to be better informed on gender-based violence and linked to multi-sectoral response services.
She said: “To achieve the project outcomes, we will work with the community leaders and all the different groups in the community (Men, women, boys and girls) to create robust awareness on gender-based violence prevention and response as well as create enabling environment for marginalised adolescent girls to thrive.
“Thus far, advocacy visits have been conducted to all the critical stakeholders, 750 out of schoolgirls enrolled into the program; that is 75 girls each from the implementation community, also baseline assessment have been conducted.”
She added that the project will “Amplify the success stories demonstrating that violence against women and girls is preventable by showcasing effective strategies and interventions to inspire all actors to scale up what works.
“It will also create awareness to health workers and public on the GBV referrals pathways as well as engaging stakeholders to take ‘Do No Harm Pledge’ and make commitment towards reporting GBV incidences.”
Stakeholders present at the event were, a representative from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Mariam Shaibu, Board of Trustee Member of the Tabitha Cumi Foundation, Arc. Binitie Alero, FCT Police Command Gender Desk Officer, Mrs. Funmi Kolawole and Director of Primary Health Care Centres Bwari Area Council, Dr Goji Dambo.
They tabled their support in the campaign against violence against women and girls, calling for workable actions to help curb the heightened spate of the act.