By Basirat Memudu
A Non Governmental Organizations under the aegis of International Federation of Women Lawyers- FIDA and Jam’ iyar matan Arewa-JMA have identified good parenting and education as critical factors in addressing the challenges of Sexual and Gender Based Violence-SGBV in the country.
This was made known during a joined sensitization program of FIDA and JMA in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government on Sexual and Gender Based Violence-SGBV in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.
FIDA chairperson, Barrister Zainab Atoba explained that the sensitization program which had closer focus on parenting, rape, substance abuse and COVID-19 became necessary following the need to enlighten parents especially mothers on how to keep their children under a closed watch with a view to addressing the above mentioned challenges.
According to Zainab Atoba, FIDA had embarked on sensitization outreaches and discussions with relevant stakehokders in communities and townships on drugs abuse, parenting as well as position of the law as it’s relates to the free and compulsory education for the girl child in Kaduna State.
She said the sensitization program which had community leaders, parents as well as religious and traditional rulers in attendance was to enable them step down the knowledge to their various communities for them to have the right knowledge on where to go whenever any incident of SGBV occurs in their community.
President, Jam’ iyarMatan Arewa Mrs. Rabi Isa Saulawa who emphasized the need for prevention via sensitization, noted that the two organizations were working with the Kaduna State government under the ministry for human services and social development and had set up legal offices in the state to enable SGBV victims have access to justice without payment.
In a lecture on Rape as one of the Gender Based Violence that is alarming in the society, FIDA member, Mrs. Lilian Elechukwu described it as a menace that cut across all ages, gender, and status, stressing that all hands must be on deck to tackle it.
According to Mrs.Elechukwu, when rape occurs,the first thing that should be done is report to the hospital where evidence would be established by medical Doctors to aid further investigations and prosecution of perpetrators.
She pointed out that,there were Sexual Assault Referral Centers, Sarc in Kaduna State at Gwamna Awan General Hospital and Yusuf Dantsoho memorial Hospital Tudun Wada where Lawyers and Medical doctors have been stationed to provide justice for victims of rape and gender Based Violence
The FIDA member said the medical Doctors at the Centers help provide pieces of evidence for lawyers which is being referred to the police for further investigations and possible prosecution.
In Another lecture on domestic violence Barrister Funke Baminkole said violence of any kind has physical, emotional and moral effect on the victims and emphasized the need for education,proper parenting, empowerment as well as sensitization and the fear of God as ways to curb the menace
Mrs. Baminkole identified child protection and right law, violence against persons law and administration of criminal justice law among others as legal protection for victims of sexual and gender Based Violence-SGBV
The event witnessed religious perspective of SGBV where pastor David Praise and Sheikh Ibrahim Adams emphasized that no religion permits SGBV, adding that both Christian’s and Muslims were brothers and sisters as being created by one God.
Dr. Tabitha Henah Guda Who spoke on COVID-19 stressed the need for people to adhere strictly to government protocol to prevent further spread of the virus
Climax of the event was presentation by Esu Gbagyi 1, Sa Gbagyi Dr. Danjuma Barde who commended the Kaduna State government for its free and compulsory education for girl child and castration as penalty for rapist, saying that will serve as deterrent for those with such criminal tendency and at the same time curb the menace of sexual and gender Based Violence in the state.