From Adam Muhammad, Gusau
The Zamfara-based non governmental organization NGO, Voluntary Aid Initiative (VAI) has enjoined marginalized groups in Zamfara state to speak out against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) to ensure access to justice.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Musa Umar made the call in Gusau on Saturday at the quarterly review meeting of CSOs network with local authorities and security forces.
The meeting was organised by the VAI in collaboration with UKAid funded NGO, International Alert.
The participants of the meeting comprised representatives from security agencies, members of the CSOs, people with special needs, community members and journalists.
Hotpen gathered that the International Alert is an NGO funded by the UK Conflict Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) implementing a project, “Promoting Stability, Access to Justice and Accountability’’ in Zamfara and Kaduna State.
Umar noted that the meeting was part of the activities of the project aim to promote stability, access to justice and accountability to victims in the state.
According to him, the project aimed at inclusive participation of community groups in alternative dispute resolution to reduce the prevalence of community-level violence.
He called on marginalized groups in the communities to always collaborate with authorities and report SGBV issues aimed at accessing justice.
Also speaking, the state Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Hajiya Amina Baba, said the campaign against SGBV needed more public sensitisation considering its negative impact on the society.
“We learned that people are afraid to speak out on SGBV issues, we need to speak out in order to ensure access to justice for the victims.
“As lawyers under the FIDA, we render free services to the SGBV victims in ensuring access to justice,” Baba assured.
In her remarks, the state Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Development, Dr Nafisa Maradun commended the NGO for organising the meeting.
Maradun, represented by Director Administration in the ministry, Hajiya Aina’u Sani, said the ministry would continue to give priority to SGBV prevention.
“We are committed to partner with governmental or non governmental organizations in the fight against SGBV and ensuring access to justice,” the Commissioner said.
Earlier, Chairman of the meeting, Dr Ahmad Hashim said the event was organized to review the activities of the project in the state.
“We are here to interact with participants and review various SGBV prevention activities in the state,” Hashim said.