By Chioma Nnodim
In a bid to harnessing Gender-Based Violence, GBV, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has sensitised wives of traditional
chiefs and Area Councils’ Chairmen in FCT on the menace, perpetuating discrimination and inequality in the society.
In particular, the stakeholders exposed to presentations and discussions aimed at empowering them with the tools and knowledge needed to leverage the GBV data reporting on the dashboard effectively.
In her opening remark, Minister of State for FCT, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, noted that SGV is a human rights violation that is rooted in gender inequality, and is a barrier to achieving gender equality and sustainable development.
Mahmoud, who was represented by Director, FCT ServiCom, Mrs Funmilayo Adebayo, said the violence has devastating consequences for women’s health, including physical injuries, sexually transmitted infections, unintended
pregnancies, and mental health disorders, as well as undermines women’s ability to participate in society, access education and employment opportunities, and contribute to their communities’ development.
According to her: “GBV knows no boundaries of age, class, or gender; it is a menace that demands our collective response, and as we gather here today, we reaffirm our commitment to combating this menace.
“It is worth noting that, despite efforts to address gender-based violence, it remains a
widespread problem globally.
“Governments, civil society organizations, and individuals must work together to prevent violence from happening, support survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable.
“This requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach that addresses the root causes of gender-based violence, including gender inequality, discrimination, and harmful social norms and attitudes. By working together, we can create a world where everyone can live free from violence and discrimination based on their gender or sex.
“Let us remember that our actions today have the potential to initiate change, raise awareness, and contribute to the eradication of GBV in our communities. By harnessing the power of data and working together, we can build a safer and more inclusive society.”
Earlier in his welcome address at the GBV sensitization session, Mandate secretary, Social Development Secretariat, SDS, Hon. Ibrahim Aminu, said beyond raising awareness, the initiative is about strengthening all stakeholders’ capacity to respond to GBV effectively, given that the prevalence of GBV in society remains high, and it is incumbent upon them to take concrete steps to address the issues.
Aminu reiterated the need to work together to ensure that every survivor of GBV receives the support and assistance they need to heal and rebuild their lives.
“Your presence signifies your commitment to the well-being of your communities and
your determination to tackle GBV head-on. Your active participation in this program will undoubtedly contribute to the success of our collective efforts in your various communities and Area Councils.
“I am confident that this event will serve as a catalyst for greater collaboration, stronger data-driven interventions, and a renewed commitment to ending GBV in FCT. As we embark on this
important journey, I urge all of us to remain focused on our goal of creating a society free from gender-based violence,” he stressed.
On her part, the wife of the Ona of Abaji, Hajiya Hauwa Baba-Yunusa, described the initiative as a welcome development, as it would boost the quest to eradicate the menace from communities across 17 chiefdoms of the FCT.
Aside wives of traditional rulers and Councils’ chairmen, other stakeholders such as women leaders, 4 FCT Mandate Secretaries, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and development partners graced the event organised to educate participants on using data and technology to inform and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in FCT.
Highpoint of the event was the symbolic presentation of flex banners bearing the messages for the GBV awareness campaign drive in the Territory.