Traditional leaders, key in addressing sexual, gender-based violence – NGOs


The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) and the Ten Pillar Partners (TPPs) say the role of traditional leaders is key in addressing Sexual, Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

The group made this known when they embarked on an advocacy visit to some traditional rulers in Abuja.

Newsmen reports that some of the traditional rulers visited include; Gomo of Kuje, Ona of Abaji and the Aguma of Gwagwalada.

The NGOs therefore, sought the collaboration of traditional rulers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to tackle the menace of SGBV in the nation’s capital.

Ms Jemilat Abdul-azeez, Executive-Director, Community Aid and Girl Child support Initiative, WRAPA, said the visit is aimed at seeking the support of the traditional rulers on the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill.

Abdul-azeez, who is also the leader of the delegation, added that the bill which had continued to suffer several setbacks required the support of all, to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

According to her, the bill which seeks to guarantee the rights of women to equal opportunities in employment, inheritance, marriage, among others, once passed would prohibit all forms of discrimination against women.

She added that the visit which is one of its projects under the Spotlight Initiative is also meant to bring focused attention to SGBV issues and placing it at the center of efforts to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“In Nigeria, like other jurisdiction, violence against women and girls as well as sexual and gender-based violence has continued to remain a challenge that significantly constrains women.

“Especially those marginalised and facing intersecting forms of discrimination or multi-deprivation.

“Such as those with disabilities, women and girls living with HIV/AIDS, the poorest and those living in most difficult to access communities.

“WRAPA in June 2022 signed a project cooperation agreement as one of the implementing partners on the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Programme Phase 2 in Nigeria.

“We are focusing our work in the FCT, Adamawa and Sokoto states and our intervention is focused on building capacity of both individuals and institutions to influence and act across states and non-state actors.

“This is all aimed at improving the human and institutional agency to advance progress in ending violence against women and girls, sexual and gender-based violence as well as harmful practices,” she said.

Similarly, the Co-head and Project Director, Association of Wives of FCT Traditional Rulers, Hannatu Nga, also appealed to the traditional rulers to promote the content of the bills at their regular traditional meetings.

Nga, who was represented by Emmanuel Basset, Project Officer of the Organisation, added that this would enable their members to familiarize themselves with the bills and cascade down to other community members.

“We also want them to highlight the benefits of the Bill to men and boys in their communities to gain their support for the bills.

“There should also be continuous sensitization and enlightenment of content of the bills throughout the chiefdoms to popularize the bills and gain support of the constituency’s members within the communities,”she added.

On his part, the Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Haruna Jibrin, commended the team for advocacy visit to the area council, while assuring of his readiness to support the group.