Group makes case against SGBV, demands access to justice in Zamfara

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By Ifeanyi Nwannah

A non-governmental organization based in Zamfara State, Voluntary Aid Initiative, VAI, has called on the marginalized community to speak out against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV.

The Executive Director of the NGO, Musa Umar made the call in Gusau, the State capital, at a quarterly review meeting involving CSOs, local community and security agents in the State.

The meeting was organised by the VAI in collaboration with UKAid and International Alert.

The meeting included traditional, religious leaders, women organizations, journalists, representatives from security agencies, CSOs, people with special needs and community members.

Umar further explained that the project was aimed at promoting stability, access to justice and accountability to victims in the State.

According to him, the project was aimed at inclusive participation of community groups in alternative dispute resolution to reduce the prevalence of community-level violence.

He urged the marginalized groups in the communities to always collaborate with authorities and report Sexual and Gender Based Violence, SGBV, issues.

Also speaking, the State Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Hajiya Amina Baba, noted that the campaign against GBV needed more public sensitisation considering its negative impact on the society.

“It was discovered that most people are afraid to speak out on SGBV issues; we need to speak out in order to ensure access to justice for the victims.

“As lawyers under the FIDA, we render free services to the GBV victims in ensuring access to justice,” she said.

Speaking, the state Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Development, Dr Nafisa Maradun commended the organization for organising the meeting.

The commissioner spoke through the Director of Administration in the ministry, Hajiya Aina’u Sani, pointing out that the ministry would continue to give priority to SGBV prevention.

“We will do everything within our power to continue partnering with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the fight against SGBV and ensuring access to justice,” the Commissioner added.

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