Gender activists in Kogi State are urging the development of a cost-effective multi-sectorial action plan to effectively combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV) across the country.
This call was made during a stakeholders’ engagement meeting organized by the Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP) in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to mark the “orange the world” 16 days of activism against GBV campaign in Kogi State.
Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Director of Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), Eunice Abimbola Agbogun, noted that the costed multi-sectorial action plan is a “multi-year road map designed to help the state achieve its goal of eliminating violence against persons.” She emphasized that this plan is a critical tool to transform the state’s broad goal of “zero tolerance for violence against persons into concrete activities and policies.”
Agbogun stressed that the plan determines the “human, financial, material, and technical resources needed for policy implementation,” providing guidance on which activities to prioritize and support.
Fortunes Tamuno, the Gender Integration and Mainstreaming Assistant at CIHP, highlighted gender-based violence as a societal nightmare that “must be stopped,” stressing that “all hands must be on deck to address this menace in the country.”
CIHP has been actively working to ensure that states tap into their agenda to “kick against all forms of gender-based violence across the country.”
The Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba, acknowledged the recent rise in cases of gender-based violence in the state.
She revealed that, despite not being fully reflected in national data, Kogi State has witnessed an increase in GBV incidents.
The commissioner outlined gaps in reporting and coordination, citing initiatives by the Kogi State Government, such as the inauguration of a 23-member Technical Working Group, to tackle gender-based violence.
Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba emphasized the importance of addressing challenges such as the “absence of a harmonized platform for reporting, poor coordination of GBV case finding and reporting by increasing GBV case findings, providing access to clinical and non-clinical services to survivors of GBV” to go a long way in “ending gender-based violence in Kogi State.”
Ambassador Idris Muraina, Chairperson of Kogi NGOS Network, called on the present administration in Kogi State to include the Kogi State multi-sectorial costed action plans in the 2024 budget for the effective implementation of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) law.
A communique drafted at the end of the “16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence” campaign urged Kogi State to “adopt in totality the costed multi-sectorial action plan on GVB intervention.”
This would involve every “ministries, departments and agencies in Kogi State” incorporating GBV issues into their annual budget, creating a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address GBV.
The coordinating mechanism, represented by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development through the technical working group, was urged to ensure diligent implementation by “ensuring that quarterly meeting are held to check the level of implementation of the costed multi-sectorial action plan on GBV by each of this Ministries, Department and Agencies.” Advocacies were recommended to secure fund releases for the activities of various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, ensuring the functionality of Sexual Assaults and Referral Centers in Kogi State.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the campaign “UNITE by 2030 to End Violence against Women” in 2008.
This initiative runs parallel to the “16 Days of Activism,” which began at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership institute in 1991 and serves as a global organizing strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.