FG committed to proactive partnership on women, girls’ protection – Minister

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By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto, Sept. 22, 2020 The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to collaborating with various organisations in enhancing the advancement of girls and women’s rights.
This, she said, was to ensure the development of the girl-child and women and enhance their contributions to the socio-economic advancement of the country.
Tallen, represented by Mrs Adediji Bukda, a Principal Community Development Officer in the ministry, stated this at a three-day Spotlight Initiative Project stakeholders’ zonal workshop in Sokoto on Tuesday.
She said that the ministry would fashion out different strategies and modalities towards ensuring gender equality and protection of the girl-child and women’s rights at all levels.
The minister explained that the policies were geared towards ensuring justice, equality and development processes, noting that despite the successes recorded so far, more efforts were needed in tackling the issues.
While commending state governments for their efforts in ensuring women development, the minister enjoined stakeholders to continue to promote active engagements in order to achieve the desired impacts.
She commended UNFPA for its supports to organisations, especially at the grassroots, in promoting active engagements that would strengthen women’s health and associated activities in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Judith Ononoso, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Health, said that community groups and government departments had greater roles to play in promoting girls and women’s rights in the society.
Ononoso underscored the importance of joint partnerships among stakeholders in correcting the anomalies associated with cultural and religious norms violating girls and women’s rights.
The UNFPA Project Support Officer on Spotlight Initiative Project in Sokoto State, Mr Umar Idris, said that the effort was to ensure that stakeholders contributed in tacking all forms of violence against girls and women.
Idris said that the project showcased happenings in the communities in terms of girls and women, aimed at broadening their knowledge and providing ways of tackling them.
According to him, the issues comprised of School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV), Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Stop Violence Against Girls in School (SVAGS), Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
He added that the Spotlight Initiative Project had partnered government departments, community groups, religious-based organisations and others on the project, stressing that Sokoto State had also recorded remarkable achievements in this regard.
Naija247news reports that a resource person, Mrs Jumoke Olanrewaju, presented findings from communication needs assessment on drivers and sources of rising cases of gender-based violence in Sokoto and Adamawa states.
Olanrewaju dwelled on perceptions, religious and cultural norms affecting women development as well as factators mitigating against the protection of girls and women’s rights.
According to her, ignorance, poverty, improper parenting and care are among the factors resulting in teenage pregnancies as well as infidelity among couples.
NAN reports that participants were drawn from Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states, while Mrs Fatima Shehu from the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) facilitated the programme.

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