- A traditional community leader in Abuja and five other residents were presented with awards
- The awards were presented to the recipients by a non-governmental organization Sexual Offenses Awareness and Response (SOAR) Initiative
- Members of the Kutunku community in the Gwagwalada area of the Federal Capital Territory also pledged never to tolerate any form of sexual activity and gender-based violence against Women and girls
HRH Bulus Gomna Kutunku, a traditional leader, has received an award for his commitment to ending sexuality and gender equality Violence in the Kutunku community of the Federal Capital Territory’s Gwagwalada Area Council.
Bulus received the award along with his son John and five others on Saturday May 7th, during a ceremony held at the Traditional Leader’s Palace.
Other honorees include Helen Alfred of Gwagwalada Area Council; Yusuf Mishebusa, a religious leader in Kutunku community; Joanna Akpoture, popularly referred to as the town crier for her campaigning to end SGBV; Salihu Musa and Christian Joshua.
Achieving Zero Tolerance to SGBV in FCT Communities
At the event themed Zero Tolerance Status Pledge Ceremony against sex and gender-based violence against women and girls, SOAR Initiative Executive Director Chinyere Eyoh said the aim of the project is to prevent cases of SGBV at all costs.
Eyoh, represented by Annette Pwajok, operations director of the SOAR initiative, said the organization is focused on achieving two important things.
“We try as much as possible with all our activities and all our projects to achieve two things – to prevent these problems from happening in the first place, and if it does happen, we want to help people who have been abused to do that surviving trauma.”
According to the United Nations, it is estimated that one in three women will experience either physical or sexual violence from intimate partners or no n-partners at all during their lifetime.
The UN said those numbers are mirrored in Nigeria, where 30 percent of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 reported experiencing sexual abuse.
According to the UN, insurgencies and ongoing conflicts have only served to increase the incidence of gender-based violence in the country, particularly in the north-eastern region.
It also says that Harmful practices such as child marriage are widespread in Nigeria, with 43 percent of girls being married before the age of 18, while 20 percent of women aged 15 to 49 have suffered female genital mutilation.
Further said Eyoh, the SOA campaign R-Initiative also aims to ensure that women and girls are not trapped in the past ordeals they experienced at the hands of SGBV perpetrators.
“We want them to make something beautiful out of their lives, SGBV cases are usually a life changing experience and you can find survivors struggling to get their lives back on track.
“Many of them bring no good in life, not because they can’t, but because they never got over the trauma of the problem they’re facing.”
Eyoh highlighted some of the strategies employed by the SOAR initiative, including a community approach to end SGBV in three different communities of the FCT.
< h2>Educating parents, guardians and community members about the dangers by SGBV
In your opinion, parents and guardians, including husbands in the community, need to be properly educated to end SGBV.
< blockquote>“If you look at it, most of the parents in these communities have had little or no education and don’t know anything about these things, they really aren’t on social media either.
“The So the idea is to meet them in their own room and enlighten them about these things. But we’re not just talking, the strategy we’ve used is to establish Child Protection Committees (CPC) in the community.”
Note that the CPC is made up of trusted individuals consists of residents selected by members of the communities themselves, Eyoh said the approved committee members were trained by the SOAR initiative to mentor and guide and protect women and young girls in the area.
She added that the mentors are also trained to counsel young girls and women in the community, educating them on SGBV prevention and ways to seek help should an incident occur.
Religious leader commits to ending SGBV
< p class="align-left">Mishebusa recognized the SOAR initiative’s efforts to protect girls and women in Kutunku and said it means to him the award that recipients vi el more expected to end SGBV in the community.
He said he has been given the responsibility to ensure that the Kutunku community achieves a zero-tolerance status to SGBV.
“I will continue to ensure that we have tolerance for the abuse of our children, I will ensure that each family sends their children to school, especially girls, because boys and girls are the same, neither is better than the other.”
“And whenever they have a problem, we teach them to speak up and to say it so that the person who committed the crime is punished, sent to the district council, the police and then to the court.”
The FCT community does business against SGBV
In his address, Kutunku Community CPC Chairman Salihu Musa said that s they would not tolerate any person committing, conspiring or attempting to protect SGBV offenders.
“Here in New Kutunku are we serious? Anyone who wants or commits SGBV in any form will be brought before the law.”
The community members, led by the traditional leader, also pledged to protect all girls and women by signing a charter that was previously drafted and reviewed.
Also led by Helen Alfred, Chairperson of the Gwagwalada Area Council, community members unveiled the zero-tolerance status New Kutunku sign.
Teens send strong messages against SGBV in Abuja community
Teens flooded the streets of New Kutunku community to raise awareness among residents to fight against SGBV.
The teenagers called on parents and adults in the community to protect their future by making sure that they will not be abused or harmed. < /p>
According to the teenagers, SGBV is a violation of their basic human rights and must be avoided.
Abuja municipality publishes 17 measures against anyone who abuses children
The new Kutunku community in Abuja’s Gwagwalada district council had taken drastic steps to protect their children and loved ones.
The Community, in partnership with an NGO, the Sexual Offenses Awareness and Response (SOAR) initiative, has developed a charter to checkmate the activities of abuse-prone criminals targeting women, girls, and children.
New Kutunku District Manager, Gomna, said through the bylaws viewed by Legit.ng that he will ensure that any SGBV offender in the community is prosecuted.