By Diana Omueza
Stakeholders in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) , has called for multi-sectorial approach toward tackling the menace and other forms of abuses against women in the country.
They said this at a One-day Round Table Discussion in commemoration of the 16days Activism Against GBV.
Mrs Chioma Oduenyi, the Project Director, Momentum Country and Global Leadership in Nigeria (MCGL), said that there was need for such approach in order to strengthen, support and build the capacity of all first responder agencies.
According to her, the Gender-Based task force that consists of legal providers, healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies and others, need to partner to collectively defeat GBV.“
All this agencies or sectors that constitute the gender-based task force must partner to strengthen each others’ capacity to deliver on their mandates.
“Not one actor or agency can carry out all this activities to respond to victims or survivors.“The Ministry of Health needs to work side by side with the justice department and also the law enforcement bodies.
“This will allow victims to quickly access healthcare when abused, while a legal case is simultaneously established and the victim is evacuated to safety by the law enforcement agencies or the perpetrator is arrested.
“There is therefore a need for a multi-sectorial partnership to empower and strengthen first responders in addressing cases of GBV and bringing justice to victims,” she said.
She urged victims of GBV and other abuses to take advantage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015 and other legal framework for justice.
Mr Atuma Emmanuel, the Chief of Party, Reaching Impact, Saturation and Epidemic Control (RISE) said that the activism was a life long journey that could foster multiple interventions impacting on behavioral change from generations to generations.
“Therefore having an active synergy to address Gender-Based Violence, religious and policy shift should occur from community levels to local government, state and national levels,” he said.
Mrs Kemi Alao, the Head of Gender unit at the Nigeria Securities and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said that the corp had established an all females unit to assist in addressing the issues of GBV and other abuses.
“NSCDC is working tirelessly to ensure protection of women and their rights in the country.
“t is proactively and reactively intervening in all cases of sexual and gender-based violence in order to evacuate the menace from society,” she said.
She said that the unit with the support of the NSCDC Commandant-General has been empowered to assist, arrest, investigate and institute legal proceedings against perpetrators of GBV.
Dr Shittu Abdu-Aguye, a medical health practitioner said that cultural norms, societal norms and poverty must also be addressed in order to help reduce GBV.
Mrs Emilia Okon, a representative of the Integrated Health Project in Ebonyi, urged stakeholders to improve and sustain strategies in tackling GBV to enable the victims to access necessary assistance.
Also, Mrs Susan Agada, an expert in Humanitarian Development called for effective cluster management, constant capacity building and adequate funding of first responders pf GBV.