GBV/VAWC: Spotlight Initiative, Sokoto govt. partner media

Sokoto State
Sokoto State

….as Commissioner laments undocumented record of cases

By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Amidst the growing spate of gender based violence ( GBV) in recent times with worrisome proportion of violence against women and children, Hajiya Kulu Abdullahi Sifawa , Sokoto state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs has lamented the lack of proper documentation of reported cases and responsive tracking and follow up on cases of VAWG to conclusion.
This She observed, has affected the process of securing justice subjecting cases to die naturally with perpetrators going scot free.
However, Sokoto state has on record, no fewer 134 reported cases of GBV/VAWC from various quarters.
Speaking Tuesday at a One -Day media engagement meeting organised by the state Ministry for Women and Children Affairs with the active support and collaboration of the EU-UN Spotlight Innitiative, Hajiya Kulu who made the observation in her remarks said the trend of the pandemic needed a holistic synergy to strengthen  commitment with the active participation and support of the media in highlighting and exposing the ills and dangers of all forms of abuse.
” The failure to responsively get it right will continue to encourage perpetrators of the act who are supposed to be prosecuted and stiffly punished “, he remarked.
The theme of the meeting : ” Strengthening partnerships with the Media to better promote the availability of reporting and access to essential services for survivors of Violence Against Women and Children”
According to her ” strategic approach to sustain the course and campaign to ending VAWC and child abuse must be taken with seriousness.
” These social class of individuals are more vulnerable. We have to seek media support in protecting the fundamentals, dignity and rights of women and children who often do not get justice at the slightest occurrence of violation “, She pointed out.
She observed  that most gender based  violence cases were not properly documented to enable efficient and effective follow up in order to secure justice by protecting the rights of survivors.
” All known and established cases reported and recorded by relevant  authorities can be monitored, tracked and supported to secure justice.”
Representative  of Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar , District Head of Gindi inTambuwal local government , Engr. Sambo Abubakar stressed that it was the responsibility of all major stakeholders to effectively rise to the challenge against all forms of violence that jeopardises the rights of women and children.
He pointed out that Islam abhors all kinda of violence against humanity, declaring that the Sultanate Council will continue to strengthen the path to ending the negative scourge fast surging .
Also, a facilitator and resource person Barr. Rashidat Muhammad in an overview of GBV the Sokoto state situation, enumerated social factors as tradition, culture, societal norms , history among others have negatively impacted on the course to ending the menace.
Earlier ,  UNICEF Sokoto Child Protection Specialist, Mr Pius Uwamanua explained that Spotlight Initiative was set on a rescue mission towards ending the pandemic of violence against women and children, noting that GBV and VAWG were the focus of the initiative through collaboration with UNICEF and other coordinating and support agencies as well government .
” Spotlight Initiative focal course has spread across five States including the FCT. Cross River, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Adamawa and Lagos inclusive “, he pointed out.
Uwamanua maintained that ” we are promoting team work template to ensure safety in ending violence against women and children through intervention strategy that will protect them against all sort of violence .
Accordingly, in his presentation on Child Rights/ GBV reporting ethical response from the Media, Mr Ankeli Emmanuel said there was the need for the media to be conscious of the rights , consent and privacy of survivors in the course of reportage process of protecting and ensuring justice for survivors.
He said ” these ingredients are fundamental as to not defame, cause harm or jeopardise the future and privacy of survivor. “

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