By Ahmed Ahmed
The Women Mediators in Bauchi State has reiterated that Violence Against Women and Girls brings huge economic costs to any society and is a barrier to sustainable development.
Mrs Easther Patrick, who is the State Coordinator, Woman Mediators gave the assertion during commemoration of 16 Days of activism on violence against women and girls, organised by Women Mediators with the support of UN Women on Sunday in Bauchi.
She said the negative impact on women’s participation in education, employment and civic life undermines poverty reduction.
“It results in lost employment and productivity, and it drains resources from social services, the justice system, health-care agencies and employers.
“Therefore there is a need to implement programmes that prevent such violence from occurring in the first place.
“By doing so, we can prevent significant human rights violations and hold the promise of reducing the social and economic costs of violence,” Mrs Patrick said.
The coordinator urged menfolk to always stand in the defense of the womenfolk and girls in order to fight various forms of violence against them.
Esther Patrick opined that without support of men, it is difficult to achieve a safe society where women and children will grow to their full potential.
The Coordinator stressed that the fight can be won through unity of purpose with the cooperation of the men.
Earlier, the Chairman of UN Women He4She in Bauchi state, Jinjiri Garba explained that the activity was aimed at raising awareness on the plight of women and children who are suffering various forms of violence.
He said that the UN Women is committed to promoting women’s engagement in conflict prevention, resolution, negotiation, mediation and peace building process at all levels for the attainment of sustainable peace and development.
Also Speaking, the Gender Desk Officer Ministry of Health, Zuwaira Baba assured that the Ministry will continue to make gender equality a top priority to have a peaceful and quality health care in the society.
She stressed that issues of healthcare for women and children are given priority by the Ministry as in all programmes, women and children are always considered.
On her part, the Gender desk officer in the Ministry of Justice Mrs Maimuna Ibrahim Yusuf reiterated that the Ministry is always ready to ensure that the rights of women and children are protected according to the relevant laws and treaties.
She commended UN Women for its efforts at protecting women and children as well as ensuring that their rights are not trampled upon.
The Gender Section of the State Police Command on its own, assured that it will always investigate and prosecute all forms of violence against women in the state urging parents to always report cases to the section.
The media practitioners on their own, assured that they will continue to report all suspected cases of gender based violence that are made available to them.
The media practitioners urged parents and other stakeholders to always brief them about such cases in order to have accurate reports.
Others who spoke at the occasion included Persons with disabilities, traditional rulers, religious leaders and CSOs who pledged to always advocate for the rights of women and children.