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NGO Seeks Fight Against Gender Based Violence, Drums Support For Women Rights

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A non governmental Organization, Health Care Support Services (HCSS) has urged all and sundry, including leaders at all levels and relevant agencies to join hands together in curbing the menace of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Enugu state and Society at large.

The Community Based Organization expressed worry over the habit of silence amongst victims, urging them to always speak out when such happens to them.

It made the call when its programme Director, Mrs. Njideka Agbasiere, weekend  led a team from the CBO on an advocacy visit to the Executive Chairman of Isi Uzo local government area of Enugu state, Hon. Obiora  Okelagu.

In her speech, the HCSS, programme Director, explained that the objective of the visit to the Council Chairman was to intimate him of the intervention of the Organization in his locality, disclosing that they are “working in the Isi Uzo LGA in the Women’s Voice and Leadership Initiative WVL.

 She said: “WVL  project intervention was to draw attention to the CBOs activities in Ikem Etiti with women, girls and the community on SGBV and ways of curbing it and increased access to justice for victims through community efforts.

According to her, “HCSS activities in Ikem Etiti includes sensitizing, promoting and creating awareness on Rights  of women, education.

Mrs Agbasiere used opportunity of the visit  to appeal to the Executive Chairman to assit the organization efforts through augmenting the community initiative with funding.

 “Sensitizing them on knowing their rights and helping them to work at unlocking their voices, to cry out against imposed silence of women over Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Domestic Violence.

The Organization is equally sensitizing them on provisions made by Enugu state government to address inheritance laws of women in their parents family and their right to inherit on the death of her Husband.

“Sensitizing them on life in the community to get a voice in politics, giving right information and educating the community women ond girls  about sexual based violence. What are they?

 “What are the early signs of sexual based violence? Improving the information about what constitutes sexual abuses.

“Activities to end sexual Gender-based violence of youths through increasing the awareness of youth on the menace.

She said “the women and youths were trained  on means of improving their incomes through contributing to family resources and various economic empowerment training. 

“They were taught a variety of skills like making soaps; disinfectants; detergents and liquid soaps; bleach; Head tie as a skill to make money in the village and other handicrafts.

“Some prevailing issues on a way forward as ways to tackle SBGV at IKEM was highlighted with training of community members on procedures of handling cases in order to get some justice for victims of Domestic Violence and SGBV. 

According to her, “Committees  members on SGBV were inaugurated and fully trained on handling incidents of Rape, gender based violence and domestic violence so that victims are helped to quickly get treatment, make police reports and access justice against offenders who may be intimidating or ensure that  delays are not encountered by which evidence may be lost which may be required to prosecute offenders.

The programme Director, Mrs. Agbasiere who is in charge of the CBO community activity of the women’s Voice Leadership Nigeria project, programme sponsored by Canada Global Initiative, under the care of Action Aid in Nigeria and supported under the mentorship of Women empowerment and peace building Initiative (WEPBI) in Enugu state, had  introduced how the programme has been going on in  Enugu state since April 2020, and HCSS has been working at Ikem Etiti  with women and girls. 

The traditional ruler of the locality, Igwe felix Ogbuke, who was also present during the visit gave a brief testimony of the activities of WVL in Ikem Etiti and how it has been empowering women and youths and  and community at large.

Two women from Ikem Etiti community spoke on the achievements and benefits the project has brought to them through sensitization, awareness creation and skill and economic empowerment activities. 

They noted that their  challenges and handicap had remained  finance, adding that they they need money to start something. 

In that regard,  an appeal was directly made to the LGA chairman to remember Ikem Etiti in the LGA budget and scale up the intervention already in place such as  giving women a voice, combating elimination of harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation in the families, kindred or villages where it is still practiced.

They equally urged the Council boss, to also look into and address direct and indirect effects of domestic violence and all forms of SGBV, child abuses including helping to enact a bye laws in the  LGA .

Responding, the LGA Chairman  thanked Igwe Felix Ogbuke for the efforts he has been giving in organizing the community women and his  concern for their welfare. 

He also welcomed HCSS that has been working in their community, stressing that  their efforts to know that women know their rights and be economically balanced is highly appreciated. 

He however, gave his assurance that he will study all that “we have been doing in their community and with women in particular and see how he can assist these women. 

He said the LGA is disposed towards partnering with HCSS the CBO in the project in order to help their women Isi Uzo LGA.


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