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Stakeholders Unite to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Michika

By Zakariyya Aliyu Gwaram

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), American University of Nigeria, and Development & Health Initiative (CHABASH) organized a workshop in celebration of International Women’s Day, focusing on advocacy engagement and media dialogue with key stakeholders to champion the prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV) in Michika.

Workshop Highlights and Key Discussions

The event saw participation from various facilitators, including the CDHI team and numerous stakeholders. Joy Adamu, GBV Project Manager at CHABASH, represented the Managing Director and highlighted several critical issues:

1. Climate Change and Gender Violence: Adamu emphasized that climate change exacerbates gender violence and unemployment, increasing women’s vulnerability.

2. Child Sensitization: She stressed the importance of sensitizing children at the primary school level, as they are often the most affected. Parents were cautioned to be vigilant about who has access to their children.

3. Cultural Conflicts: Adamu pointed out that African cultural norms often conflict with laws, particularly regarding women’s inheritance rights, leaving them susceptible to violence.

Legal and Policy Challenges

The workshop also addressed legal and policy-related challenges:

Police Law 124: This law, which previously barred married women from certain jobs, was discussed, with a police representative noting that the marital condition requirement is now ineffective.

Immigration Act 2015: The government’s failure to enforce municipal laws providing jobs to internally displaced persons (IDPs) was highlighted. Easy access to alcohol and phones was identified as a contributing factor to GBV by representative of Nigerian immigration Service.

Health Sector Issues: Philemon James, a health expert, and others noted that improper attitudes of health workers and poverty are significant factors contributing to GBV.

Call to Actio

The workshop concluded with a strong call to action:

Sensitization and Training: Stakeholders emphasized the need for ongoing sensitization efforts. Jennifer Tzeh from the police department called for training programs and greater parental involvement.

Sex Education: Rhoda Zira insisted on the importance of sex education in combating GBV.

Parental Responsibility: Inspector Ishaya urged parents to avoid favoritism based on gender and ensure both male and female children are equally cared for. He also stressed the need for parents to teach their children about right and wrong.

Community Vigilance: Adamawa mother attending the workshop highlighted the need for sensitization against the dangers of social events like parties.

The workshop underscored the importance of collaborative efforts among stakeholders, the community, and the government to create a safer environment for women and children in Michika.

About the author

Zakariyya Aliyu Gwaram

Official Website of NAS FM Yola 89.9.

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