The disadvantaged community has been urged to speak out against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) by the Zamfara State-based non-governmental organization Voluntary Aid Initiative (VAI).
At a quarterly review meeting in Gusau, the State capital, CSOs, the local community, and security personnel in the State heard the appeal from the NGO’s executive director, Musa Umar.
The VAI, UKAid, and International Alert all worked together to put on the summit.
Participants included traditional and religious leaders, women’s groups, journalists, security officials, community service organizations, members of the community, and persons with special needs.
Umar continued by saying that the project’s ultimate goals were to increase security, victim rights, and responsibility.
He claims that the project’s goal was to lessen the frequency of violence in neighborhoods by encouraging everyone to take part in non-confrontational methods of resolving conflicts.
He stressed the need of disadvantaged populations constantly working with authorities to report incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.
Hajiya Amina Baba, state chair of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, also spoke, noting that greater public sensitization was required in the struggle against GBV because of the harm it does to society.
We need to speak up on SGBV concerns because most people are too terrified to, and only by doing so can we guarantee victims of SGBV get the justice they deserve.
“As lawyers under the FIDA, we render free services to the GBV victims in ensuring access to justice,” she explained.
The conference was well-received, according to Dr. Nafisa Maradun, the state’s Commissioner for Women, Children, and Social Development.
Hajiya Aina’u Sani, the ministry’s director of administration, relayed the commissioner’s message that the ministry will maintain its focus on preventing sexual and gender-based violence.
“We will do everything within our power to continue partnering with government and non-governmental organizations in the fight against SGBV and ensuring access to justice,” the Commissioner continued.