By Joseph Edegbo
Kaduna State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law of 2018, as well as Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy came under focus on Tuesday at a One – Day Capacity Building for staff of Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) on the implementation of its project on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
The project titled, Advocating For the Prevention of Gender Based Violence is being implemented with support from Rise Up, a project of Public Health Institute (Johns Hopkins University, USA), to curb incidences of gender based violence in 12 identified communities of 2 Local Government Areas in Kaduna State.
At the training, Chairperson, Kaduna State Observatory Steering Committee against Women and Girls, Barr. Amina Audi Mohammed describes violence as any act or attempted act which causes or may cause any person physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional or economic harm.
She listed some offences covered by the law which include circumcision or genital mutilation of the girl-child or woman, harmful traditional practices, forceful eviction from home or refusing access or depriving a person liberty or freedom.
She explained that domestic violence could be perpetrated on any person in a domestic relationship that may cause imminent harm to the safety, health or well- being of any person, as well as denial of inheritance or succession rights, unreasonable deprivation of economic or financial resources to which any person is entitled to, amounts to economic abuse and are covered by the Law.
Having enumerated some of the offenses, Barr. Amina Mohammed declared that the law is out to curb these social ills including child abuse and rape with stiffer punishments as against the previous law that attracted lesser penalties.
Barr. Amina Mohammed said special attention should be paid to moulding the adolescents for the future, while the vulnerable should have access to social and economic opportunities provided by government without discrimination.
She tasks AMDF to advocate for the eradication of harmful traditional practices that continually aid perpetuation of all forms of violence against persons.
Earlier, Executive Director of AMDF, Iliya Kure, explained that the organisation will work with people at the community level comprising of traditional rulers, religious leaders, and community volunteers to promote the culture of reporting cases of VAWG, and assist survivors of violence to access counselling and rehabilitation services.
While calling on Kaduna State Government to fully implement its own version of the VAPP Law and GESI Policy, Kure also asked the state government to embark on sensitisation and enlightenment on the two documents and their provisions.
Also speaking, the Project Manager and Rise Up Fellow, Benjamin Maigari, spoke of the need to strengthen capacity of implementing staff with relevant knowledge to effectively advocate as well as develop advocacy messages.
By so doing, Maigari said, the goals and objectives of the project would be attained.