The government of Enugu State and a coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) have reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating all kinds of gender-based violence within the state.
During a weekend advocacy visit with the Enugu State Commissioner for Children, Gender Affairs, and Social Development, Mrs. Ngozi Enih, the two CSOs African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) and New-Life Community Care Initiative (NELCCI) made the proclamation.
The trip was part of the group’s 16-day action to abolish Gender-Based Violence in the city of Enugu, where they represented more than twenty civil society organizations.
In his speech, Chinwuike Okereke, the Executive Director of AFRILAW, emphasized that November 25th marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism, an annual global event organized by the United Nations.
To quote him: “This is actually the first time the event is happening in Enugu State and we considered it good to work with the ministry to make it happen.
We planned the advocacy trip so that you would be familiar with all of the 16 days of action.
We have a lot going on. Our annual theme is “Unite, invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” and in our “acting meetings,” we discuss ways to put an end to violence against women and girls through the use of social media.
We’re hoping to work with the government of Enugu on a project called “State Financing on Gender-Based Violence.” We’d want to have a conversation on the importance of government funding for initiatives, programs, and policies that forward the cause of GBV.
We’re writing to explain to you why local government chairs should devote time, money, and resources to ending domestic violence in their communities.
“We want to organize a men’s conference, sensitizing, discussing with them on the need to end GBV, and involving men and boys across the strata of the State.”
Earlier in her lecture, Kobi Ikpo, the State Focal Person for Agents for Citizens Driven Transformation (ACT), mentioned that the men’s conference was organized because research showed that men were more likely than women to commit acts of Gender-Based Violence.
“We will investigate their functions and talk about problems associated with toxic masculinity and ways to advance positive masculinity,” she declared.
The Commissioner of Enugu State, Mrs. Enih, responded positively to the advocacy visit, saying that it was timely and aligned with her mandate and Governor Peter Mbah’s aims to ensure that every home in the state was a place of peace and harmony.
She was overjoyed about the upcoming conference on the topic of males and emphasized the importance of talking to young boys, saying, “Talking to the young boys will make them withdraw and feel sober because most of them grew up in abusive homes and it has become a norm for them.”
The Director of NELCCI, Florence Ifeanyi Aneke, was also pleased with the results of the partnership meeting.
She pleaded on the people of Enugu State to work with civil society organizations and the government to prevent gender-based violence against women and girls.