By Abubakar Baba Ahmad.
Stakeholders working on Women, Peace and Security project in Bauchi local government area of Bauchi State have called for stronger commitment in educating and sensitising people on the issues of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the society.
They made the call at a Townhall meeting on Masculinity Norms; the role of men in promoting women’s participation in decision making organize by International Alert held at Development Exchange Centre in Bauchi.
The Town Hall meeting is which is funded by International Alert is a pilot program in the local government aimed at sensitizing people on the need to do away with patriarchal Masculinity norms.
The Chairman of the occasion and Ward Head of Dan Iya Malam Sulaiman Bashir who charged traditional and community leaders under his domain to always report cases of rape and Gender-based violence to relevant authorities, warned that anyone found down playing the issue risks losing his seat.
In a remark, the State Chairman Spinal chord Injury Association of Nigeria Iliya Ismail said people with special needs are vulnerable in terms of emergencies and Security, hence the need for government and parents to educate them and guarantee their wellbeing.
Also Speaking, the State Coordinator of the association Princess Markus Gundi urged government and relevant authorities to protect children especially those with special needs against Sexual and Gender-based violence.
On their part, some religious and community leaders Pastor Ishaku Garba of ECWA one Bauchi, Malam Nuruddeen Yusuf of Dr Sulaiman Adamu quarters, Alaramma Umar Gokaru and Maryam Yusuf Bashir advised parents to ensure their children dress descently, and urgedp security agencies to enforce laws and punish perpetrators.
Earlier, the Divisional Police Officer Railway Bauchi DSP Garba Mustapha and the Gender Desk Officer State Ministry of Women Affairs Madam Esther Patrick who underscored the need for women’s voices to be heard in decision making, advised stakeholders to always report cases of rape and Gender-based violence to overcome the menace.
The Convener of the program and State Manager International Alert Jennifer Dashe and State Coordinator HeforShe Jinjiri Garba said the townhall meeting seeks to engage stakeholders and small groups in identifying harmful norms hindering women participation in issues affecting the society and eliminating them.
Over one hundred participants from various working groups including women, youth, religious, and persons with special needs within Bauchi local government took part in the sensitisation meeting.