The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi, has described community collaboration and synergy among all stakeholders at all levels, as a potent mechanism in fighting sexual and gender-based violence across the country.
Dr Fatima Waziri -Azi stated this at Bwari, Bwari Area Council while addressing a large turnout of women, men, religious leaders, Government officials, and other categories of Stakeholders during the Sensitization and Awareness outreach organized by NAPTIP with the support from Ford Foundation, Justice Research Institute and National Human Right Commission, as part of the activities to mark the 2022 16 Days of Activism.
NAPTIP had outlined Community Sensitization and Engagement in the Six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory as major features of the 16 Days activities starting with Abaji Area Council on 28th November 2022.
The event took place at the main hall of the Council located inside the Council Secretariat, a statement by the Press Officer, NAPTIP, Mr Vincent Adekoye, said.
The Director-General in her speech, said, “we decided to travel to this community and meet with the community members and also have an assessment of your environment and this is part of our activities for the 16 Days of Activism dedicated towards issues of domestic violence and towards issues of sexual violence that happens to women, happens to men, happens to boys, and happens to girls.
“Most times when we say Gender Based Violence automatically, you think it only happens to women? No, it also happens to boys. So these 16 days, it is celebrated all over the world, and it is expected that people will speak against it. If you see your neighbour doing something that is not good, you caution your neighbour and advise your neighbour to do better.
“So, this is why we felt it was important for us to go into the communities and have a conversation with community members and sensitize community them because it’s not everybody that knows about domestic violence, that knows about Sexual and Genda – Based Violence.
“Sometimes you can be abused, but because you don’t know what it looks like, you will not know that you are being abused. And the man or woman that abuses somebody else because they are not educated and they don’t understand what it means to them, will not know that they are abusing somebody.
“Our work is to implement that Act. And if you look at that Act, it covers so many crimes. It covers the crime of incest where a father is sleeping with his daughter. It covers the crime of rape where you see men rape women. And there are also instances where women also rape men. It covers cases of emotional abuse. It covers the crime of were you pushing your wife out of the house or you push your husband out of the house and saying, getaway. You will not enter this house. It is a crime. It also covers the crime of economic abuse. When a man refuses to give his family money, he refuses to give his children money for food, it is a crime
“So, our fathers here, our community leaders, our clerics that are here, you all are our fundamental allies. You are our collaborators with the federal government to make sure that most of all, these customs are bad customs, mind you, there are many customs that are good and some that are bad. So the customs that are bad are the ones that the law says are bad customs. And everyone should stand against bad customs.
“And we know that as Muslims, as Christians, the Bible and the Quran preach against discrimination. So I think for us who believe in a higher power, this is something we should constantly remember that our Bible and our Quran says we should not be wicked to ourselves”, the Director General said.
Chairman of the council, Hon. John Gabaya who was represented by the Council Secretary, Mr Peter Kadaya promised that the authorities of the council shall join hands with NAPTIP in the fight against SGBV in the council.
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