Gender Based Violence: AMDF Visits Kaduna Commissioner for human services
By Habila Victor
Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) under its Preventing Gender Based Violence Project has paid an advocacy visit to the Hon. Commissioner, Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Hafsat Mohammed Baba in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.
Executive Director, AMDF, Mr. Iliya Kure said the visit was to officially introduce the project to the Commissioner to seek commitment from the ministry and the government to continue with same vigor its support in preventing gender based violence in the state.
Kure noted that the 12 months’ project on preventing Gender Based Violence in Kajuru and Kaduna North Local Government Areas of Kaduna State centres on “advocacy and community mobilisation around Violence Against Women and Girls. We are also establishing a system in the community which we will strengthen around reporting cases; where community people on their own can start reporting cases against the norm of covering up because certain community members are involved”.
He added that the project “engages community volunteers to sensitize people in the community on issues of violence against women and girls, as well as the VAPP law. Secondly they should be reporting issues which in some cases are domestic or that of female circumcision”.
He acknowledged the effort of the Ministry in tackling GBV. He, however pointed out a gap which exist in the communities around knowledge of the VAPP law. He said “people are not aware; the sensitization is not enough and people are inadequately informed, hence, more needs to be done in that aspect.
In her remarks, the Commissioner, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, appreciated the contributions of AMDF towards preventing GBV in the state, noting that it is one of the key issues that concerns the State Government and other key partners.
The Commissioner who acknowlegde the low level of knowledge of the existing VAPP law amonsgt residents, called on relevant organizations to support governments effort in creating awareness on existence of the law and efforts to tackle GBV.
According to her: “though VAPP law is in existence, we still have a lot to do. I agree that there is a gap in terms of people knowing and even believing in the existence of the VAPP Law. This is a huge gap because of the level of literacy, and also lack of constant community engagement. But as you all know, government cannot do it alone, that is where we need organizations like yours to support government’s effort”.
She applauded the involvement of community volunteers in the AMDF project, noting that as members of these communities, the volunteers will work towards adding value to their communities.
“We are in support of the work you are doing, we believe it will go a long way in reducing the cases of GBV we have in the state.”
The Project titled: Advocating for the Prevention of Gender Based Violence is being implemented by AMDF with support from Rise Up, a project of Public Health Institute, John Hopkins University, USA.
Benjamin Y. Maigari
AMDF Programme Manager & Rise Up Fellow