By: Ruth Selya, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has disclosed that the Ministry is ready to protect women, girl child, people living with disabilities and youths against all forms of violence in the state.
The state Commissioner in the Ministry, Hajiya Hajara Gidado said this during a one day rally organised by Plan International in collaboration with Bauchi state chapter of the Nigerian Association of women journalists to commemorate the 16days of Activitiesm, with the theme “Orange the World, Stop Gender- Based Violence Now”.
Represented by the Director of the Ministry, Fatima Ibrahim, who received women groups who embarked on a walk under the 16 Days of Activism stated that in almost 1 in 3 women are being abused in their life time and the number keeps increasing as seen during the covid 19 pandemic and other crises, such as conflict, climate disasters.
According to her, “a new report from the UN, violence based on gender from 13 Countries since the pandemic showed that 2 in 3 women reported that they experienced some form of violence and out of that, only 1 percent reported to the Police or any other authority for assistance”.
She disclosed that Plan International is one of the Agencies collaborating with the Ministry, adding that it is worthy to know that Plan International and relevant NGO’s, Security bodies and others are there to see that perpetrators are made to account for the act, and justice should not only be served on the perpetrators but should be seen to have been done.
The Commissioner said that the NGOs should protect women and youths wherever necessary assuring that the doors of the Ministry are open for all programmes to fight GBV in the state, community and society at large.
She then appealed to all the NGOs to form a partnership that will ensure that victims of GBV were not only heard but supported to get justice while stigmatization should be fought because according to her, it is one of the reasons victims are not coming to speak out.
Representative of Plan International in Bauchi, Zainab Sabitu, in her speech, said that the NGO decided to participate in the program as a way of supporting fight against all forms of gender based violence.
According to her, Plan International will continue to support the fight against gender based violence particularly against the Girl-child who have faced different forms of violence and are suffering silently.
Speaking also, the Chairperson of Bauchi State chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Bulak Afsa said that the walk was organized in conjunction with Plan International and 10 different women groups participated.
She said that the aim is to create Awareness on the need for people to rise up to stop all forms of gender based violence in order to return sanity to the existence of the family.
“Gender based violence is not only against the woman, even men are not left out. What we are doing today is to ensure that people stand up to fight against gender based violence in the community”, Bulak said
She commended Plan International for supporting the women groups in the fight against gender based violence in the community which she said has retarded social activities within the community.
The groups that joined the walk included FOMWAN, NCWS, He4She, Stan up for Women Societies (SWS) , FIDA,NLC Women etc.