The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) has engaged stakeholders for the solution to sexual and gender-based violence.
The executive-director of PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu, disclosed this during the partners’ engagement on the theme: “High Level Stakeholders Commitment Meeting On Fight Against Sexual Violence” yesterday in Abuja.
Nwagwu said that the aim of the engagement session was to engage stakeholders on sexual and gender based violence, and create massive sensitisation and awareness to engage the opinion leaders especially in the North against early marriage through advocacy.
In his address, the director-general of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, said, “As stakeholders, if you are frontline officers in the relevant agencies, this meeting is intended to look very deep and broadly so as to find a way forward.
“It is not enough to sweep it under the garb of officialdom by saying, ‘we are doing a lot’, the truth is that our efforts is not good enough and that is why we are faced with an upsurge.
“The way forward is to do more sensitization and awareness creation that will permeate the grassroots and resonate with all of society. This task has to be collaborative to achieve desired results. I must say here that we at NOA are very ready and determined to join forces with stakeholders and other partners to ensure that we make progress in this regard”, he said.
He noted that there will be need to develop a contingency plan within our laws for GBV and emergencies, timely prosecution and adequate penalty for offenders, consistent Advocacy, and sensitization in a collaborative manner to sustain the awareness.
Adding that, “Incorporating disability sensitive, gender sensitive public health management approach, and fortification of the gender desk of the Nigerian police Force.”
Also speaking, the NOA Director, Reforms, Coordination and Service Improvement Department, Mr. Elisha Sabo, explained that gender violence refers to the violence inflicted on male and female sexes, which includes, rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, prostitution and sex trafficking.
“While the victims are faced with physical and emotional or psychological trauma, more often than not, the culprits do escape the wrath of laws.
“The disturbing news making the round in every facet concerning gender violence which if not addressed properly may spell disaster in the country.
“Gender-based violence is not a private matter; it must be uncovered in order for it to be challenged. Ending this scourge will involve harmonised strategies and action at all levels”, he said.