Hadis Foundation co-hosted with the department of Political Science of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), a dialogue on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law in Kaduna State. The dialogue focused on students from tertiary institutions held on 27 October 2021, at the Auditorium of the School of Postgraduate Studies, ABU. The prevalence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in society, also exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, made this dialogue necessary.
The Ford Foundation supported hybrid event brought together students, professors, practitioners, and senior government officials physically and online. The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State Dr Hadiza Balarabe gave an address of commitment. Ms Funke Baruwa shared a goodwill message from the Ford Foundation. The Vice-Chancellor ABU represented by the Director IDRT Prof Binta Abdulkarim gave the keynote address and reiterated ABU’s commitment to creating safe spaces. The Head of the Department of Political Science ABU, Dr Rahana Lawal presented the baseline findings on SGBV in Kaduna state. The Honorable Commissioner for Humanitarian Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Muhammed Baba, presented the simplified version of the Kaduna VAPP Law and Penal Code written in English and Hausa languages. Prof Hauwa Yusuf of Kaduna State University moderated a village square conversation that brought together the panel and audience to discuss what is changing about the SGBV landscape.
The event offered an opportunity to understand the different ways the POVAPPS initiative can help address SGBV. At the same time, it popularized the laws that exist to protect people from all forms of violence and showed how to seek help when one encounters any form of SGBV. In our commitment to advancing the cause of ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence and inclusion, Hadis Foundation pledged to:
1. Support the Kaduna State Government in producing sexual offenders and service provider registers for the state.
2. Provide a disability access ramp for Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria’s Postgraduate Hall to aid access to the auditorium.
3. Support Kaduna Sexual Assault Referral Centers ( SARCs)
4. Create a “safe spaces corner” for the Ahmadu Bello University student community through the school’s Gender Unit.
5. Work with all the students to serve as a vanguard in tertiary institutions in Kaduna State to create safer spaces on and off campuses.
The Ford Foundation supported Hadis POVAPPS project seeks to enhance agency to reduce SGBV menace in states, by strengthening SARCS and increasing the use of their services, and better response avenues for victims and survivors in Kaduna and Kwara States.