In pursuit of its mission to address violence against women and girls in Chika, Jikwoyi and Dutse-Alhaji Community all in Abuja, the Initiative for Women and Girls Right Advancement (IWOGRA) has organized a meeting to curb violence against women.
The non-governmental, non-profit women and girls’ right organization that works towards the promotion and protection of human rights, equity and social justice in Nigeria organized the ‘Interface Meeting between Service Providers and the Violence Against Women and Girls Community Response Team (VAWG-CRT) on how and where to report violence against women and girl’s cases”.
The meeting was a gathering of the newly selected VAWG-CRT and relevant agencies that provides legal services and support for survivors of VAWG.
The meeting had in attendance representatives of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Gender Department of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and theInternational Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA).
Executive Director of IWOGRA, Nkechi Obiagboaso-Udegbunam disclosed that the meeting is in furtherance of IWOGRA’s mandate to carryout targeted efforts aimed at reducing VAWG that are exacerbated by cultural and social norms at the community level through the SLOC-VAWG project supported by ActionAid Nigeria and Ford Foundation.
She added that the meeting is an opportunity for the newly selected VAWG-CRT to be familiar with the different agencies that provide support on VAWG, know their mandates and know where and who to report to when they encounter cases in their various communities.
The representatives of each agency enlightened the VAWG-CRT about their agency’s mandates, basic steps they need to follow when reporting a case and the information needed for easy follow-up of reported cases.
They also provided the VAWG-CRT with their contact information and assured the VAWG-CRT that all their services are free.While expressing her joy at the fact that community people are now enlightened on issues of VAWG, the representative of LACON, Janefrances Ojoma Bianeyin stated “I am delighted to see that the men in these communities have joined in the fight to combat VAWG in their communities.
Women also need men to help address these issues because in most cases women are the most affected and men are needed in order to address these issues otherwise no change will be recorded”.
She urged them to be great ambassadors of the course they have chosen to address and encourage others to be a part of the movement. The VAWG-CRT had the opportunity to present current cases and issues of concern to the service providers for redress and advice and in turn, the service providers gave responses that address their concerns. Obiagboaso-Udegbunam urged VAWG-CRT to take advantage of this opportunity and engage the service providers when cases of VAWG are brought to their attention as they now serve as their communities’ paralegals.