By Ignatius Ushie
Ministry of Women Affairs has collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP and the Foundation of Research and Educational Development, FRED, to set up a Strategic Knowledge Management National Working Committee Group on Sexual and Gender Based Violence structured to advise the ministry on Multi- Sectorial National Response.
Speaking during the inauguration of the group at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, the minister of Women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen stated that the technical working committee was expected to provide technical and strategic inputs to strengthen opportunities for evidence based planning and decision- making towards addressing sexual and gender- based violence in an efficient and effective manner.
Dame Tallen noted that in Nigeria there are gaps in reporting Gender Based Violence information and accessing real-time data for use in creating solutions to the problem hence the establishment of a National GBV Situation Room which is an innovative data management and visualization platform which uses technology to enable government, decision makers as well as programme managers to view and analyze data with ease.
She said that the reporting platform was currently being piloted in the six spotlight states namely Adamawa, Cross Rivers, Ebonyi, FCT, Lagos, Sokoto and it was expected that the harmonized platform would be scaled up to cover the thirty six states of the federation.
She stated that development was the upgrade of livelihoods of a country and freedom from all forms of violence and it is against this backdrop the ministry has decided to ensure the safety of womenfolk who are always at the receiving end of gender based violence.
“We are facing a pandemic within a pandemic, in this case justice delayed is justice denied, such cases cannot be swept under the carpet. We must step further to try untried cases and put offenders to book. I call on states to domesticate child rights which will help to solve issues that are being reported across the states,” she added.
She further disclosed that in Nigeria there were over three thousand reported cases of gender based violence and only 11 cases have been advocated for of which the offenders have been prosecuted which was disheartening and needs to be addressed.
Earlier, the Parmenent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs. Ambassador. Anthonia Akpabio Ekpa. PhD welcomed guest of the UNDP noting that the Multi- Technical Working group that is inaugurated will among other things structured to advise the Women Affairs Ministry in Multi- Sectoral SGBV national response and bring together Technical expertise from different sectors, donors, development partners and Civil Society Organisations.
According to Ekpa, the core objectives of the working Group amongst others is to Harness human resource Capital of Organisations, effectively coordinate national SGBV strategic information activities and provide opportunities for sharing of information and lessons learnt among the stakeholders. She said.
Also, Resident representative of UNDP, Mohammed Yahaya said that the partnership which was between the European Union, EU and Nigeria is the largest effort to eliminate gender based violence.
He revealed that UNDP would help to manage all GBV data, the situation room and would provide technical support so as to kindle hope to all girl child and women in terms of effective information for efficient advocacy
In her vote of thanks, Director General, National Centre for Women Development, NCWD, Dr Asabe Vilita Bashir reassured that the center will use this opportunity to recommit its willingness to tackle the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence which was an age long challenge to the total freedom for women and girls in Nigeria.
Dr Bashir thanked the partners, critical stakeholders and media for buying into the vision urging that all hands must be on deck to nurture and ensure that the mandate of the National Strategic Knowledge Management Technical Working Committee was achievable.