Our Hosts, Dear Guests and Friends,
It is an honour to be back in Ahmadu Bello University, my alma mater, and place of livelihood until 2007, and to collaborate with my department, the department of Political Science on this all important subject of the prevalence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). NOI polls show that one in every three girls would have experienced sexual assault before 25 years (NOI, 2019,4). The data from the EU ROLAC programme supported Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) also shows that boys are not spared in this menace.
Thank you for joining us at this hybrid (physical and virtual) tertiary institutions dialogue on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Kaduna State. The dialogue organized under the Popularising the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Laws (POVAPPS) project of the HabibaDangana (Hadis) Foundation, is supported by the Ford Foundation.
The theme of the dialogue ‘My Dignity, Your Dignity’ Ending Gender Based Violence Together’ is pertinent. We are all affected by the prevalence of (SGBV) in our communities because the wellbeing of our neighbour is our wellbeing. Your dignity is my dignity, and so everyone should be concerned about SGBV and come together to address it.
POVAPPS, in working with our partners, seeks therefore, to create that core of community leaders who will serve as a vanguard against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) across various communities in Kaduna and Kwara States. This is because finding an end to SGBV begins from building a consciousness and consensus around such anomalies that are antithetical to our culture and which diminish all of us.
This dialogue with the tertiary institutions community in Kaduna State is strategic because young people are within the walls of a community of learning, and they are affected by SGBV. They also can understand its destructive nature and can act to stop it.Those out of school equally matter. Yesterday, at the Hadis resource centre in Doka began our SGBV engagement with a workshop on menstrual hygiene and bodily integrity awareness for young girls across communities, which includes learning to make reusable sanitary pads to address period poverty.
The anticipated outcome of today’s dialogue is the creation of awareness and the identification of potential partners for various students’ community vanguards to popularize the VAPP Law, protect against, speak up, and report SGBV menace in Kaduna State. The Hadis POVAPPS initiative will build community partnership to create or strengthen the community vanguards who will carry out outreach programs, document abuse, and share information with Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) for an effective SGBV response mechanism across communities.
What can we each do in our own corner of the world to reduce SGBV? Hadis working with partners, has simplified the Kaduna VAPP law and aspects of the Penal Code into simple English and the Hausa languages, in hard and electronic copy formats, as tools to spread awareness along with some other information enlightenment and communication materials such as a videos, documentary and stickers. We appeal for your use and sharing of these materials, which can be forwarded electronically as widely as you can. There begins your first step to help tackle this disgraceful prevalence of SGBV. Let’s end gender-based violence together.
We thank all our partners; the Government of Kaduna State, Ahmadu Bello University, Civil society and communities and service providers.
About Hadis Foundation
HabibaDangana (Hadis) Foundation was formed in 2012 to give a head start to women, girls and their communities. Our Vision is an equitable world where resources reach those in need. Our Mission is to connect women and the poor to opportunities and ideas with the potential to transform communities. We work in Nigeria with a specific focus on Northern Nigeria. The Ford Foundation supported Hadis POVAPPS project seeks to enhance agency to reduce the (SGBV) menace in the states, strengthen SARCS, including increased use of their services and better response avenues for victims and survivors in Kaduna and Kwara States.
For more information, visit www.hadisfoundation.org.ng, Instagram – @hadis.foundation, Twitter – @FoundationHadis.
Amina Salihu, PhD, ChMC Founder HabibaDangana (Hadis) Foundation