Fighting Gender-Based Violence In Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi State Government has reiterated its commitment to ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Chinwe Okah, said this on Monday at a two-day interface and workshop organised by the  Economic and Social Empowerment of Rural Communities (ESERC) in Abakaliki, capital of the state.

Represented by Mrs Marcellana Ibina, a Director in the ministry, Okah noted that the state government was ready to collaborate with willing partners to put an end to gender-based violence in Ebonyi.

She gave ESERC the assurance of the state`s readiness to support its programmes aimed at complementing the government’s efforts in the fight.

The commissioner noted that one of the greatest challenges of the government in the fight against GBV was the poor enforcement of laws and policies against gender-based and related violence.

She said that the workshop, which brought together law enforcement officers, Ebonyi GBV Task Force and the community advocacy groups, as well as service providers, would strengthen the ongoing campaign.

“I commend the ESERC for organising this capacity building workshop for our key stakeholders in the fight against GBV, especially violence against women and the girl-child.

“The ministry is not lagging behind in any issue relating to promoting the campaign to eradicate GBV in Ebonyi and we are going to stand by your organisation to ensure that the objectives of the programme are realised,” the commissioner said.

Okah urged participants in the workshop to show commitment, adding that GBV was still prevalent in the state despite the efforts of the government in tackling the menace.

“You have a great work to do in our journey to free our communities of all forms of gender-related violence, therefore, you must take the workshop very serious.

“We have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law and other laws, including law against Female Genital Mutilation, all aimed at eliminating violence against our people.

“The persistence of GBV in the state means that we all need to work-round-the -clock and in synergy until the state is freed from the menace,“  she pointed out.

Earlier, Mr Ikechukwu Nwaogu, Project Manager of ESERC, expressed regret that issues around gender-based violence were under-reported in the state and called for synergy among various stakeholders to end gender violence in Ebonyi.

He said that the workshop brought together key actors, including law enforcement agencies, service providers, community advocacy groups and others to train them on effective use of communication strategies in solving challenges of GBV.

“We brought together the key actors in order to enhance communication among them because we discovered that there is communication gap existing among them.

“There is a communication gap from the reporting stage to the service stage and indeed, every other stage. It is that communication gap that we hope to bridge through this process,” Nwaogu said.

Newsmen report that the workshop is been sponsored by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative on ending gender based violence against women and girls in Ebonyi.

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