Alliances for Africa Celebrates the Gains of Collective Activism on her project – Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in Imo State, funded by United Nations Trust Fund
The Executive Director Alliances for Africa (AfA) Ms Iheoma Obibi Press statement at the event reads...
19th May 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alliances for Africa’s (AfA) Efforts in Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in Imo State.
Alliances for Africa, a leading feminist-led organisation in Imo State, has, over the past 3 years and 6 months implemented a project on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in Imo State with funding from United Nations Trust Fund on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (UNTF-EVAWG).
Over the course of the project, various initiatives were implemented, including capacity building for frontline service providers, strengthening of the referral pathway for reporting SGBV in Imo State, awareness-raising campaigns, and the establishment of support structures for survivors of violence. This includes:
- Establishing a 30-person multi-sectoral committee of state and non-state actors, CBOs, faith-based organisations, CSOs and other key stakeholders named as the Imo State Committee on Ending Violence against Women and Girls (ISCEVAWG);
- The facilitation of the domestication of the VAPP Law in Imo State;
- Increased awareness and strengthened stakeholders’ capacity and engagement in ending violence against women and girls in the state in all three senatorial zones;
- Production of a referral pathway of frontline service providers booklet to support survivors and their families when reporting cases of sexual and gender-based violence;
- Facilitating the discussions on establishing the Imo State Agency for the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons.
- Increased Local women’s organization activism and voices by strengthening their by-laws and constitutions to ensure local frameworks towards better protection of women and girls
- Built sustainable relationship with the media institutions in Imo State which supported and galvanized support during the project life cycle.
- Promoting an inclusive system by strengthening synergies and partnerships with persons with disability.
The project also successfully implemented community-based awareness campaigns, school sensitizations outreaches where school children were sensitized on the elements of VAWG, addressing the culture of silence which still remains a challenge also reaching over a 1 million direct and approximately 2million indirect beneficiaries in Imo State with messages to end violence against women and girls.
The campaigns highlighted the need to end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, educating women on their civil status in marriage, female genital mutilation, harmful widowhood practices, consequences of early marriage, abolishment of long aged traditions and norms, wife batters, and encouraging community members to report cases of violence and support survivors’ path to justice while arming the women with summarised copies of the VAPP law.
Special thanks to the Imo State Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Women Affairs for their support and commitment on this path.
Our Struggles and Challenges:
On this path to ending violence against women and girls in Imo State, one of our major challenges is enforcing the VAPP law. Though the VAPP law was signed into law and gazetted on the 17th Dec. 2021 through the efforts of collective activism, its full implementation has struggled because there is no Regulatory body and hence no accountability. This makes it very difficult for survivors whom we fight for to access justice.
Thus we emphasise, that domestication is not enough, effective implementation is more!
Enforcement of the VAPP law will make it a living document and a reference point for women and girls to defend and advance their rights.
On this bases, Alliances for Africa and the community we represent do hereby demand the following:
- That Imo State Ministry of Justice increase their efforts effectively on their mandate to provide access to justice to persons in Imo State through establishing the regulatory body- IMO AGENCY for the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons. As stated in Part V section (55) 1 VAPP Law, There is hereby established a body to be known as The Imo State Agency for the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons as Regulatory herein referred to as “THE AGENCY”
- The Agency shall be – (See Appendix to be read as stated in the VAPP law)
- That the newly established sexual assault referral centre, also called “The Deborah Centre”, should be equipped with a Centre Manager, Doctors, psychosocial support, Nurses and necessary stakeholders as mentioned under the VAPP to aid the successful rehabilitation and justice for survivors.
- That the Imo State government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs, should create a central referral pathway and centre for the ease of reporting and addressing cases of violence against women and girls and to aid the support of data collection.
- Our earnest desire and quest is for the Ministry to leverage the continuous achievements of Alliances for Africa through the UNTF project on ending violence against women and girls to make Imo State a safe space for women and girls.
We sincerely appreciate all the stakeholders who work with us and for us on this journey, the state and non-state actors, CSOs, CBOs, and other key stakeholders. We say Thank You!
We are confident that our collective activism will continue to have a lasting positive impact on the State.
Thank you again.
Ms Iheoma Obibi
Alliances for Africa
Owerri, Imo State
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