World Humanitarian Day is more than a day to recognize humanitarian workers who dedicate their lives to humanitarian causes.
It is a day to remind us that humanitarian workers make the world not only safer, but also more equitable and inclusive.
Among them is Emmanuel Egorp, a 39-year-old Nigerian UN Volunteer who is committed to fighting gender-based violence (GBV) through daily engagement with communities.
Emmanuel is a National United Nations Volunteer, Gender Violence Program Specialist at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
He supports the programming of innovative prevention, risk mitigation and quality response interventions in the Nigerian Bay States (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe).
Emmanuel contributes substantially to his unit's focus on increased engagement of men and boys, particularly in gender-based violence prevention and risk mitigation.
He also leads the pilot intervention on gender-based violence in schools, in line with UNFPA's Humanitarian-Development-Peace Interface strategy.
Indeed, UNFPA's mission is to provide a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and the potential of every young person is realized by achieving the three transformative outcomes of ending unmet need for family planning, preventable maternal deaths and gender violence.
Supporting UNFPA efforts "is really rewarding for me," says Emmanuel.
He claims that all of his prior experiences, knowledge and skills in clinical, public and primary health care, related systems strengthening, program management and results-based financing have provided him with a unique integrated and innovative vision.
And they allow you to support his agency's efforts more effectively and efficiently.
"The world is changing very quickly and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is increasing due to climate change, conflict and more.
I really want to help, even in the smallest way possible, for someone, anyone, to keep the dignity.
of being human above all else, regardless of age, race, religion or gender.
UNV offers me an incredible opportunity to do this and much more."
--Emmanuel Egorp, UN Volunteer at UNFPA, Nigeria As part of his mandate, Emmanuel led a UNFPA team visit to the GRA Model School in Maiduguri, Borno State, on International Menstrual Hygiene Day, which was celebrated on May 28.
The day is an opportunity to sensitize adolescent girls and boys about menstrual health and hygiene management.
The UNFPA team also distributed menstrual kits to 120 school-age girls, including seven boys.
"My family was displaced from the local government area of Bama. Now that we live in a host community in Maiduguri, with each menstrual cycle it becomes even more difficult to deal with the intense pain while cleaning, going to school and concentrating in class.
It is very difficult for me to find sanitary napkins, so I resort to old pieces of cloth.The fear of staining my uniform and being made fun of by my colleagues (especially children) is what causes me to lose at least three days of class every month..
Sometimes I just want to be a kid, so I don't have to go through all that anymore!—Halima, 15, GRA Model School student, beneficiary of menstrual hygiene management training" .
The most rewarding experience Emmanuel has had is the Global Intervention Pilot Project Against Gender-Based Violence in Schools launched in November 2021 to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, in partnership with UNICEF.
Together with his team of five other UN Volunteers, Emmanuel was able to train more than 50 secondary schools, including private schools, in setting up complaint mechanisms, providing psychological first aid, establishing referral links, development of a code of conduct for teachers and students, as well as the creation of school clubs on gender-based violence and a community network of referral counsellors.
Before becoming a United Nations Volunteer, Emmanuel volunteered as a frontline volunteer during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja, asked healthcare workers to volunteered.
He is very committed to his community and never misses an opportunity to collaborate with organizations or the government to provide humanitarian assistance to his people, no matter where they live.
In 2022, 95 United Nations Volunteers were mobilized in the West and Central Africa region to support the humanitarian programs of the United Nations system in five different agencies and missions in eight different countries.
Alinafe Everson, 38, woke up to the sound of rushing water in the early hours of January 24, 2022.
Within seconds, water flooded her home, which she shares with her husband and four children.
The family managed to run to higher ground and found shelter in a crowded school building.
Conditions were difficult for the family, with little food, poor sanitation and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the camp.
The strong winds and heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Ana have disrupted the lives of thousands of women and their families.
More than 190,000 people have been displaced and forced to settle in makeshift camps.
Homes were destroyed and food and goods, including clothing and farmland, were washed away.
Health products and health supplies are in short supply and social support programmes, including social cash transfers, have been disrupted.
Women and girls are the most vulnerable and at greatest risk of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, due to limited access to basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and water).
UN Women Malawi has been supporting the flood relief response.
Access roads to reach people were challenging as a result of the flooding.
Despite this, UN Women was able to reach vulnerable women, such as lactating mothers, pregnant women, older women, women with disabilities and young women, reaching some 10,000 household members with buckets, loincloths (chitenges) and soap.
Everson received non-food items such as a bucket, soap and a wrapper from UN Women.
“These items are timely and vital, especially since the greatest need in the town right now is clean drinking water and good sanitation,” she said.
Crises impact women, girls, boys and men of all ages differently.
As a result, their needs and interests differ, as do their resources, abilities, and coping strategies.
Women become more vulnerable as they may be exposed to gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.
By understanding the different needs of women and girls, in addition to the distribution of non-food items, UN Women Malawi ensured that gender-based violence prevention messages were delivered to affected communities in Chikwawa.
Men in the camps were urged not to engage in gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, which is often triggered during emergencies.
Communities were also encouraged to report cases of gender-based violence and informed of available helplines and other services.
UN Women, in partnership with the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe (NAC-Zimbabwe), conducted a SASA!
five-day national Together Support Phase Training of Trainers (ToT) in Kwekwe from July 18-22.
The ToT was made possible thanks to the support of the Spotlight Initiative, funded by the European Union, aimed at organizations already implementing SASA!
Together Start and Awareness phases in various provinces of Zimbabwe.
The training aimed to build the skills of the participants and encourage community members to unite power with women who experience violence and men who are potential allies to prevent violence against women and girls and reduce risks.
of HIV infections.
Together is a four-phase (Initiation, Awareness, Support, Action) program methodology developed by Raising Voices to address the links between violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
The methodology, based on the theoretical model of stages of change, aims to inspire, enable and structure effective community mobilization to prevent violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
Thirty-eight participants from various organizations including Katswe Sistahood, National AIDS Council, Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH), Hope for a Child in Christ (HOCIC), Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) and The Ministry of Women's Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development participated in the training, and will continue to train SASA!
Together Community Activists on how to implement the Support Phase at the community level in their respective program districts across the country.
Support Phase TOT trained trainers with skills on how to move beyond shame and stigma in women experiencing GBV, how to hold perpetrators of GBV accountable, and how to help couples transform .
As organizations prepare to move from the awareness phase to the support phase, they shared information on good practices gleaned from the experiences and achievements of the initiation and awareness phases.
Katswe Sistahood is successfully implementing SASA!
Joint methodology in Mbire and Guruve districts in Mashonaland Central province supported by UN Women under the Spotlight Initiative funded by the European Union and the Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF).
Katswe Sistahood trained fifty community activists using the HeForShe dialogue model at breweries and sports activities, engaging men and boys to discuss issues of power imbalance and toxic masculinity.
In some cases, dramatic scenes have been used at monthly community meetings to convey messages and raise awareness of gender-based violence.
The main objective of these efforts is to achieve positive behavior change that eliminates gender-based violence, gender inequalities and HIV/AIDS.
Katswe Sistahood also supported Doma girls in Mbire district with dignity packages, 32 cases of gender-based violence were reported, and survivors were supported with women's economic empowerment projects, be it goats or pigs, and sewing clubs.
Through the support of UN Women under the Spotlight Initiative, fifty community activists received bicycles to address mobility challenges.
“One of the biggest challenges we faced during the Inception and Awareness Phases in Mbire and Guruve was transportation services to travel for outreach and awareness purposes.
However, UN Women under the Spotlight initiative supported fifty trained community activists in Mbire and Guruve with bicycles to address this transportation challenge,” said Fadziso Maunganidze, Katswe Sistahood Program Officer.
SAYWHAT is also implementing SASA!
Together in Hopley district, Harare province through the support of UN Women aimed at young people.
Significant positive changes have been achieved in the district.
The number of reported cases has increased, demonstrating increased awareness of referral pathways and support systems available for community residence.
SAYWHAT Provincial Program Officer, Ms. Rumbidzai Mabuto, said: “Through SASA!
Overall, there has been a positive change in behavior and social norms in Hopley, the number of GBV cases has decreased significantly, and there has been a better uptake of GBV services during the awareness phase due to the provision of clear referral and support pathways.
systems for GBV survivors”.
Speaking at the training, UN Women's HIV and Gender Specialist, Ms. Redah Manga, highlighted that the training came at a crucial time when we are recovering from the distresses of COVID-19 that hampered the progress made in the phases of initiation and awareness.
“We needed to move into the support phase after being stuck in the Awareness Phase for the last two years, mainly due to COVID-19.
The training will support organizations towards the full cycle of SASA!
Methodology together to effectively support women experiencing GBV and men who want to change positively,” she said.
UN Women has been leading the SASA!
Together Methodology in Zimbabwe in association with its various implementing partners and the Ministry of Women's Affairs in an effort to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and mitigate HIV infections caused by violence against women, power imbalance and gender inequalities in Zimbabwe.
UN Women is currently providing technical and financial support to SAYWHAT, Katswe Sistahood and HOCIC and technical support to ZACH and the National AIDS Council, who are piloting SASA!
Together in Zimbabwe under the Global Fund. To date, organizations have implemented the Inception and Awareness phases in 2018 and 2019 and are now moving into the Support Phase.
On August 11, 2022, UN Women Uganda, Action Aid and the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD) convened the National Symposium on the Impact and Sustainability of Gender-Based Violence Shelters in Uganda.
Shelters are a critical part of a holistic approach to violence against women and girls, providing shelter, medical, legal, economic and psychosocial services to victims.
There are 20 shelters in total in Uganda, supported in partnership with the Government of Uganda and MGLSD.
These shelters are managed by partners supported by UN Women, including Action Aid and UGANET, MIFUMI and UWONET, among other organizations.
Speaking at the opening session of the Symposium, UN Women Country Representative in Uganda, Paulina Chiwangu, shared: "UN Women is aware of the ongoing efforts supported by the Government of Uganda and Development Partners such as Sweden and Norway, but the reality is that some of the shelters are not operational due to lack of funding and others are about to close."
Her Excellency the Ambassador of Sweden Maria Hakansson stressed that violence generates significant economic costs for society, and gender violence is the most evident expression of this inequality.
Gender-based violence is often used to silence women who speak out.
HE Hakannson made a call to action that now is the time to lead by example.
She challenged women and men in all spheres of society to step up to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
A short documentary on the subject was screened during the symposium before a presentation by the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development on the state of GBV shelters in Uganda.
The Symposium highlighted the importance of the links between violence against women and girls and women's economic empowerment.
MGLSD's strategic direction is to incorporate GBV Shelter programming, but due to the economic downturn this has not been easy.
There is a need for additional financial support for GBV shelters to ensure continuity of critical services for GBV survivors.
Much has been done in terms of legal policy framework, changing social norms, coordination and a multisectoral approach, but all of this requires financial support.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when shelters faced closure, UN Women Uganda stepped in to provide emergency funds to maintain shelters.
Sustainability was at the heart of the discussions with presentations and discussions on financing options for shelters.
A presentation on "The Financing Ecosystem" presented by Jean Kemitare (Program Director at Urgent Action Fund), who highlighted the fact that the system is co-dependent as all the actors and factors constitute a whole and that system is made up of governments local and national, private sector, bilateral agencies such as FCDO and SIDA, women's funds among others.
This presentation sparked a conversation about being strategic, innovative, and partnering with sustainable institutions as well as other partners, such as high net worth individuals.
District Local Government (DLG) officials, District Community Development Officers (DCDO), civil society organizations, UN agencies and other stakeholders participated in a plenary discussion in which participants shared concerns about inadequate funding in this area, the influx of survivors, the functionality of the referral system, as well as a call to the Ministry of Gender to support GBV shelters.
Participants representing the UN spoke about their commitments and saw this funding challenge as a good opportunity to expand our thinking on funding and tap into other donors in the areas of refugee response, for example.
Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer, representing the Austrian Development Cooperation, spoke about the support that Austria is providing to end the violence by developing the investigative capacity of the police, the prosecution service and having more staff in these agencies, as well as in the courts in districts where gender violence is higher.
The overall conclusion of the Symposium was the need to take seriously the needs of women and girls as a global and national emergency.
The participants shared conclusions during the interactive sessions.
Angella Akoth, National Coordinator of the GBV Shelters Project, Action Aid, spoke about the shadow of the pandemic of violence against women and called for support and commitment, and the need to prioritize these services.
“We have had an increase in cases of violence against women in Uganda due to economic constraints related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises.
Right now, facing the threat of closure leaves us with many questions: what How do women get How can women be reached with these services when they face the threat of closure?
Women are the backbone of Uganda, we must prioritize them.
If we allocate funds for water, hygiene, environment, why don't we allocate funds for the safety of women?
Funding WASH (for example) and neglecting the person who will benefit from WASH is pointless."
Commissioner Angella Nakafeero, Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, emphasized the importance of women's economic empowerment and the interrelationships with violence prevention: "When women have a source of income they can access justice, satisfy their own needs and decide to leave abusive relationships behind.
[Through the support of UN Women] These shelters have helped 665 women in 5 districts to benefit from entrepreneurial skills in agricultural and non-agricultural businesses."
An NGO ‘Center for Girls Education’ (CGE), has urged engaged Pair Group Educators in Sokoto state to redouble efforts on promoting awareness and community response against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The CGE State Team Lead, Mrs Ubaida Abdulnasir, made the call during the group’s review meeting on Friday in Sokoto.
Abdulnasir said that CGE, supported by Spotlight Initiative Project is implementing Ripple Project where 40 Pair Group Educators were engaged on community surveillance and education across the state.
She said that the groups were educating people especially their pairs on best way to handle GBV cases, support survivors and eliminate violence against women and girls.
The Team Lead called for increased efforts toward spotlighting prevalence of GBV, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Female Gentile Mutilation (FGM), Child Marriage (CM) and other Harmful Practices in the state.
She said the meeting was targeted at reviewing group activities, achievements, challenges and provides new modalities of implementation as well as possible areas of coverage.
” The educators were trained on ways to assist girls on protecting themselves against GBV and promoting engagements on economic skills.
” They underwent training on proper data collection and keeping techniques, information sharing among their pairs and strategy methods to facilitate quality work.
” We designed focus areas in order to prepare the Peer Group Educators to be more active in pursuing the goals in their communities.
” Topics comprised techniques on information sharing and advocacy, self esteem, goal setting and decision making, values clarification, assertiveness and public speaking among others, ” Abdulnasir said.
According to her, the project was important in recognition of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic which restricted people movements and girls were mostly at home.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event featured the presentation of an overview of activities, questions and answers on methods of approaches, mitigation measures and enhance modalities of data collection.
Federal Government has expressed concern over occupational safety and health in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and has directed MDAs to establish desk offices to attend to such issues.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Folasade Yemi-Esan, gave the directive on Thursday in Abuja during the 2022 Occupational Safety and Health Association’s (OSHA) Workshop.
The workshop has the theme “Safety and Security Knowledge: The Key to Saving Lives.
” Yemi-Esan, who was represented by the Director, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department, Dr Comfort Adeosun, said safety was becoming an emergency issue.
She said that a circular was issued to MDAs mandating them to establish desk offices and officers to man them, adding that the desk officers would be trained to know the roles they ought to play in their organisations.
She explained that “the head of service is concerned about improving the welfare of civil servants and we expect that the private sector will also come on board to ensure that workers are safe.
” She assured of her office’s willingness to partner OSHA and other organisations to secure healthy working environment for civil servants.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, said that prevention and addressing violence against women and girls should be key part of national response plan to nation’s unity.
Represented by Ms Gloria Ekanem, she said that having knowledge of fundamental human rights was key to knowing how to treat others.
Tallen said “no offender of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) will go unpunished if found guilty; may I call on organisations and media to join us in the crusade to declare zero tolerance against rape and other forms of GBV against women In Nigeria.
“The trend and patterns witnessed since last year calls for drastic measures and all hands must be on deck to rid our society of all forms of vices.
“I hereby encourage women faced with Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) to be knowledgeable about their rights and seek justice when intimidated; the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will ensure that perpetrators are duly punished and victims get justice.
” Prof. Rabiu Magaji, the Chairman, OSHA National Safety Advocacy Programme (NSAP) presented a paper titled “Best Practices for the Establishment of OSH in the Public Sector: Prospects, Challenges and Way Forward.
” According to him, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says more than 6,500 people around the world die everyday of work-related illnesses and over 1,000 people a day from occupational accidents.
He also said that the number of annual work-related deaths rose from 2.33 million in 2014 to 2.78 million in 2017 and that of the 2.78 million work-related deaths in 2017, 2.4 million were associated with occupational diseases.
He added that fatal occupational accidents were highest in Asia at 71.5 per cent in 2014, followed by Africa with 18.9 per cent, America 6.5 per cent and Europe 2.9 per cent.
Magaji said these accidents result in financial losses such as direct and indirect costs of reconstruction, recovery and reconversion of industrial sites; production interruptions; lost working time; workers’ compensation payments, among others.
He added that “apart from these economic costs, there are intangible costs arising from immense human emotional and physical suffering and work-related stress for individual workers and their families.
“The environmental impacts of industrial hazards do not recognise borders, and their repercussions spread from local to national, regional and international levels.
“Occupational accidents and diseases cause dreadful human pain and suffering, as well as important economic losses, yet awareness of the problem is still too low”, he said.
He, however, said that to be effective, OSH governance requires competence in governing authorities, the scientific community and industry.
This, he said, would fight poverty, promote health, fight discrimination and promote business performance and national competitiveness.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that OSHA has a mission to create proactive awareness and promote OSH knowledge globally by making its management an integral part of every sector.
NEWS ANALYSIS: Domesticating VAPP Act to stimulate action against offenders Domesticating VAPP Act to stimulate action against offenders A News Analysis by Ruth Oketunde, News Agency of NigeriaThe United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) views Gender-based violence as one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world.
Following this, observers have noted that low conviction rate and the culture of silence had contributed to emboldening perpetrators to continue to perpetuate the heinous crimes.
They also note that survivors of gender-based violence suffer devastating short and long-term consequences to their physical and mental health.
Concerned citizens even believe that the high rate of cases might be as a result of inability of the victims to access aid, get justice or contact with appropriate authorities.
For instance, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Paullen Tallen, said that that out of 5,100 cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), only 16 of such cases have been convicted so far nationwide.
Tallen further said that while 160 of such cases were fatal, 231 were closed, while 936 were still ongoing.
Perspective observers believe that the reason for this high rate is as a result of non-implementation and inadequate awareness of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015. Worried by this development, the Executive Director of the Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, Mrs Abiodun Essiet, said that the menace had become a societal problem as the culture of silence had made it worse over the years.
She added that in a study which focused on how traditional rulers handled sexual and gender-based violence carried out by her non-governmental organisation indicated that response points played a key role.
According to her, being unable to report to the right quarters and the fear of being stigmatised had continued to empower the perpetrators to carry on with the act.
“A lot of people do not know that some behaviours are classified as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV); such acts include slapping one’s wife, abandonment, leaving your kids or sending women away.
“So, we need a lot of awareness to address the structural problems we are having in the society regarding SGBV and so many people are getting away with things that should not be.
“Some people are scared of telling their religious leaders what happened to them or to their children so that their partners will not be victimised, making these cases to be under-reported.
“Such attitude makes perpetrators to go back to the community and live peacefully as if nothing happened; but we are advocating for victims to speak out and end the culture of silence,’’ she said.
Essiet added that the poor knowledge and adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act standards among SGBV response points was also a contributory factor.
“Evidence also support urgent protection needed for persons with disabilities and traditional, religious leaders are considered key to ending SGBV, especially in rural communities.
“It is also important for traditional and religious leaders to be trained on best ways of handling these cases and the need to improve surveillance around children.
“Not less than 44 per cent of SGBV cases are experienced by children who are usually incapable of reporting early,’’ she said.
Similarly, the Executive Director, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF) Udy Akpan, has called on the government to fully implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act to protect affected persons from further pain.
Akpan, while reacting to the death of popular gospel singer, Mrs Osinachi Nwachukwu, who allegedly died as a result of spousal abuse earlier in the year, said it was time to put an end to the culture of silence.
She said while the VAPP Act was indeed passed in 2015, it was still at varying stages of adoption at the state levels, making it difficult to reap its benefits.
Akpan, who called on women and girls to leave any abusive relationship that threaten their wellbeing, also advised Nigerians to desist from stigmatising victims of such relationships.
“Youth Alive Foundation has raised concerns over the culture of silence by women and girls in abusive relationships.
“The society has made girls and women believe it is her responsibility to keep the marriage or relationship together at all cost.
“Even if the cost it requires is her life, it seems somehow more acceptable than to be unmarried or divorced.
“Due to the culture of silence, violence and other harmful practices have become deep-rooted and difficult to battle.
“Many have died and others maimed in a bid to not disrupt the almost sacred silence.
“We are working with other civil society organisations on the Safeguarding Against Violence and Exploitation (SAVE) project in various states to advocate for the adoption and implementation of the VAPP Act,’’ she noted.
In the same way, human rights activists have continued to clamour for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015 as a way of curbing the menace in the country.
The act which aims to eliminate all forms of violence in a person private and public life, also provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offender.
Earlier this year, Mr Josiah Emerole, Director of Public Enlightenment, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said at a sensitsation forum in Yenagoa that no fewer than 20 states had domesticated the VAPP Act, 2015 for implementation in their various states.
The VAPP Act stipulates that any person who contravenes any of the sub-section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term imprisonment and or to a fine.
(NANFeatures) **If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria
Dr Amina Bello, Wife of Niger Governor and Chairperson of the state Gender Based Management Committee (GBV), is advocating girl-child education to ensure equal opportunity in the society.
She made the call at a one-day Anti GBV Close Out Project Workshop organised by the Niger state GBV Management Committee, supported by Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) in Minna on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger had in 2021 inaugurated a 20-member GBV management committee chaired by Dr Amina Bello to address the menace of domestic based violence.
Bello, who explained that girl-child education was extremely important, added that educating a woman made a family to prosper.
She, however, said that though GBV affected women and girls more, boys and men were also affected in lesser degree.
Bello added that GBV limits the potential of individuals, families and communities to live their full potential.
She disclosed that statistics of World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that one in every three women and girls experience GBV in their lifetimes and three in every 10 women in Nigeria have experienced physical violence by the age of 15. In her address, Hajiya Fati Ibrahim, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, commended the NAS for technical and financial support given to the committee to minimise occurrence of GBV in the state.
She said that progress had been made in efforts to reduce to the barest minimum cases of GBV in the state through sensitisation, prevention and reporting channels of GBV cases.
“Many segments of communities have been effectively mobilised to participate in fight against GBV in the state.
We have reached out to traditional and religious leaders to be at alert to respond to all forms of GBV in their domains,” she said.
In her remarks, Prof. Ekanem Braide, NAS President, said that the academy in 2020 partnered with Niger, Ekiti, Edo and Abia states to address GBV.
She added that the project was aimed at strengthening response to GBV in the four states.
Braide commended the governor’s wife for effectively coordinating the committee and members on the project for successful implementation and conclusion of the project.
She urged the Niger to sustain the project in order to serve as a model to other states.
Also, Hajiya Kaltum Rufai, Secretary of GBV Management Committee and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Women Affairs, said that 175 rape cases were reported to the Sexual Assaults Centre from January 2021 till date.
She said out of these cases, only eight offenders were convicted out of 77 prosecutions with 160 cases still under trials.
She added that the centre also recorded 3,500 withdrawal cases of school children, 67 street hawking and 21 forced marriages.
In his remarks, Emir of Minna, Dr Farouq Umar, represented by Malam Iko Adamu, commended the efforts of the governor’s wife and the team for successful implementation of the project.
Umar added that the emirate would give necessary support for sustainability of the project.
The Gender Development Initiative (GDI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Tuesday said that in five months, it had sensitised over 400 families across two Ogun communities on Gender-Based Violence.
Prof. Olubunmi Ashimolowo, the Executive Senior Programme Officer of Gender Development Initiative, disclosed this in a progress report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Ashimolowo said that the sensitisation was done in collaboration with another NGO, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), under a Ford Foundation funded project titled: “Solidarity, Accountability, Commitment to Ending Violence against Women and Girls”.
She added that the project, which started in April 2022 to end October 2022, was presently in its fifth month and currently being implemented in Sagamu and Ado-Odo Local Government Areas of Ogun. “We at GDI and WARDC were very concerned about the increasing cases of gender-based violence being reported across the nation by the media, so we decided to do something about it.
“We started sensitisation at the Association of Community Development Committee Meetings (ACDC), community gatherings, Church programmes, social gatherings and the market place.
“As a result of this, we have noticed a shift in the mindset of both men and women as well as the clearing of misconceptions regarding gender-based violence.
“Also, we have been able to successfully intervene and resolve cases of GBV in eight families in the two communities combined, and provided support to victims,’’ she said.
The executive director disclosed that at each sensitisation, the men were engaged and made aware of how the law frowned at men treating women without respect.
The Community Response Team (CRT) also made the people aware that violence included rape, incest, socio-economic violence, beatings of women and so many others, Ashimolowo explained.
She said that due to the impact made during its programmes, some associations had placed calls to its CRT members requesting that they come to sensitise their members, and also to report people found guilty of GBV.
Ashimolowo said that the ongoing sensitisation exercises, intervention, and support would continue even after the project ended in October.
She told NAN that the meetings are usually well attended by dignitaries in the community, chiefs, security personnel and well-recognised women groups and the communities’ members.
“One of the cases of GBV that was resolved was on the gender of an unborn baby.
The pregnant wife complained that her husband usually fought with her and said that he would not accept paternity, if she gave birth to a female and he will only accept the baby if the gender is male.
“The CRT members during their intervention made the man understand how the man determines the sex of a baby and not the woman, and how important both sexes are as children.
“On his part, the man complained that the wife had been neglecting his needs as a man, being the reason he usually fought with her.
The CRT was able to resolve these issues and others in the home peacefully.
’’ The GDI director disclosed further that it had also been able to resolve cases of incest, adultery, and physical assault.
As part of ensuring the quality of communication, effectiveness and efficiency in program management throughout the implementation of the Country Strategy Note 2019-2023, UN Women Rwanda organized a consultative meeting with implementing partners (IPs) and Responsible Parties (RPs) on July 29, 2022 The full-day consultative meeting brought together nearly 70 partners from government, civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the private sector .
In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Jennet Kem, UN Women Representative in Rwanda, highlighted the expectations of the meeting, which included a better understanding of 'our partnership', networking and sharing of experiences.
She concluded by expressing her hope that when they leave the meeting, what is in UN Women is in them and what is in UN Women.
The meeting enabled participating partners to understand the triple mandate of UN Women (normative support, UN system coordination and operational activities) and how to integrate it across all thematic areas of program interventions and outcomes.
Partners were strengthened to align their program with UN Women's priorities in the country.
This was also an opportunity for partners to network and reflect on how they can work together in overlapping areas to achieve greater results and impact towards achieving gender equality and women's empowerment in line with the UN Women Strategic Note. for the country.
Partners appreciated the meeting and said the session helped them get to know each other, which will increase collaboration.
The meeting began with technical colleagues from UN Women presenting the country programme, the audit processes and the results.
Ms. Alice Rugerandida, UN Women Program Coordinator, presented the impact areas for each result, outcome and output area to help partners understand the areas in which they contribute and their need to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in program execution.
Mr. Gerald Handika, Operations Manager of UN Women, spoke about the key milestones in financial terms, the requirements for a good financial report and preparations for the audit, among others.
He asked partners to take the time to read all cooperation agreements and make sure they understand the FACE forms in particular, as it informs a great foundation for good financial accountability and transparency within UN Women's financial management.
Ms. Jennet Kem, UN Women Country Representative, thanked all partners for their contribution to the implementation of the program and for contributing to national development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
She highlighted that “partners are the hands, feet, eyes and ears of UN Women on the ground.
That is why their efficiency in what they do contributes to the effectiveness of UN Women.” The country representative highlighted the need for partners to understand UN Women's core mandate, programming cycle, reporting milestones and audit requirements in order to align and harmonize.
He underlined that the purpose of the collaboration between UN Women and its partners was to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The workshop provided an open and safe space to honestly share best practices, challenges, recommendations, and commitment to enhance collaboration for effective program delivery.
Partners highly appreciated UN Women's support for regular capacity building sessions, engagements throughout project implementation, joint program field visits, and availability of steering committees for projects as best practice for the sustainability of the project.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the partners praised that the consultative meetings are biannual, to encourage the exchange of experiences and transparency, as well as the mobilization of resources.
They also requested more predictable funding to support their programming for results and scale.
The UN Women representative in the country closed by thanking the Government of Rwanda for the positive steps taken to implement progressive laws and policies that provide solid frameworks for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
She highlighted that persistent inequalities based on cultural practices and stereotypes continue to increase incidents of GBV, inequalities in access to economic resources, and the lack of participation of women in some key areas such as technology and innovation, among others.
Finishing at full speed, the partners committed to improve timely reporting and consistent alignment of interventions with UN Women's stated goals, and better understood that they are not competitors to each other but rather partners.