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By Fortune Eromosele, ABUJA

In a bid to stem the tide of violent practices against women and girls, the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, WRAPA, has launched the Women of Resilience, WoR, project.

The launch of WoR kicked off in Jigawa, Katsina and Plateau on 20th September 2022, while that of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was officially launched today, 28th September 2022 with the support of the Ford Foundation.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Secretary General of WRAPA, Haj. Saudatu Mahdi, said the significance of the project was to support the voice and agency of women and girls to speak out on all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and work with the faith and cultural leaders to extract accountability from VAWG perpetrators.

She said, “The project, through its activities, has expanded its scope from 1 (one) senatorial district to 3 (three) senatorial districts across the project state. This has resulted in the increased numbers of the WRAPA VAWG Women of Resilience (WOR) and 36 context-specific VAWG safe spaces in 11 new communities, thereby providing additional new platforms for survivors of VAWG to report and speak up on their VAWG experiences.

“The platforms are available as community-based first responders and provide a step-by-step referral for the victims/survivor. Making a total of 246 members of the Women of Resilience movement across project states.

“The movement of women is established to identify and respond to VAWG case reports in their communities by scaling up reported cases to duty bearers using the response protocols co-created by the community stakeholders and the project; monitoring and documentation of VAWG incidents reports and interventions in communities, based on commitments made by faith and culture leaders; visit families and have convenings that will increase awareness, strengthen trust and provide access to survivors who may not be opportune to seek and obtain formal adjudication; sharing and steeping down VAWG knowledge and response learnings to women groups, thereby filling in the gaps in formal support for survivors whose option is limited to self-help driven coping strategies.

“The project, in partnership with the Centre for Islamic Civilization and Interfaith Dialogue – Bayero University, Kano (CICI-BUK), is working towards implementing a national dialogue with 100 interfaith and cultural leaders on supporting social norms changes and scaling up commitments to accountability towards curbing the prevalence of Violence Against Women and Girls.”

On his part, the Sa’karuyi of Karu Chiefdom, Dr Emmanuel Kyauta Yepwi urged the women group to uphold the essence of the group’s creation with utmost desire, especially as it favours their well-being.

This was even as he stressed the need for the male champions to equally stand firm behind the WOR & do away with any form of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) whenever they feel offended.

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