Gender and Development Action Takes Bold Step To Eradicate Gender Based Violence In Bayelsa

By Ikenga Chronicles March 10, 2016

Gender and Development Action Takes Bold Step To Eradicate Gender Based Violence In Bayelsa

–Chinedum Uzuegbu

YENAGOA: A Civil Society Organization, Gender and Development Action(GADA) has begun the implementation of massive and strategic plans geared towards fighting the menace of Gender Based Violence in Bayelsa State. This was revealed during a stakeholders’ meeting held by the group, in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development at Yenagoa yesterday, the 9th of March.

Gender and Development Action pointed out that the focal point of their project(Framework For The Eradication Of Violence Against Women and Girls In Bayelsa State) is to provide a collaborative platform for all MDAs, organizations, and community people in the fight against Gender Based Violence, while also providing psycho-social, and trauma counselling for survivors of Gender Based Violence. The group explained that the psycho-social and trauma counselling will be provided at their Survivors Support Centre in Yenagoa, where trained psychologists will provide the necessary support. According to GADA’s in-house psychologist Ms Idume Amatari, part of the issues the centre tackles are behavioural changes in teens that point to abuse, and the necessity to set the young girls back on the right path through therapy.

SSC

(Ms. Irimagha taking notes of various areas of collaboration between stakeholders)

An extensive project, which is supported by the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation programme, the project involves a lot of training for community women, girls, men, leaders, stakeholders, and mentorship programmes for young women. GADA also explained that in addition, cases which are reported to the Survivors Support Centre will be dutifully followed up, with legal, medical, and social support offered for free.

“Through a collaborative effort with our partners, we will provide legal and medical services for survivors. We also provide mediation, so it is not like every case must end in court. I understand that lots of women are concerned about keeping their homes, so we help in doing that too. But we help keep the home in such a way that the rights of the woman are respected. We have already linked up with the Social Welfare department of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and we learnt that they have a “Family Welfare” unit that handles mediation. We are building on that already, with plans underway to link community leaders with social welfare officers within their respective local government areas” Ms. Inyingi Irimagha of GADA stated.

Cross Section of Participants

(A cross-section of stakeholders doing the “Who is a Woman” challenge)

When informed by our reporter that the major challenge that survivors from communities will face is the issue of even having money to transport themselves to Yenagoa to access all the services GADA and her partners will be offering, Ms. Irimagha replied;

“GADA can take care of the transportation. Where it is impossible for the survivor to move, we can come to her, or direct her to one of our medical and social partners within the person’s community. So really, it is all about putting in that call to us. We also understand that the problem of poverty runs deep, that is why, we have the mentorship trainings and programmes. The idea is to have successful Bayelsa women inspire and mentor the young ones”

How then can one access all these services available at Gender and Development Action’s Survivors Support Centre?

“All you need to do is call 0700STANDUP, or 0700GETHELP.Or you can simply dial; 07004384357, or 07007826387” Chidinma Eunice Okam, GADA’s other psychologist offered.

Asked if he feels there was any need for stakeholders to come together, a participant at the meeting, Mr. Ayebakuro Odio said; “We need to synergize. One man cannot do it. That is why this stakeholders meeting is key. I think GADA did the right thing to call all stakeholders together. It is clear that in some communities here, if you are not from Bayelsa, they will be hostile to you. Synergy is necessary so that where one group cannot break even, another may have the wherewithal to do that. So synergy will bring maximum results to this project.”

 

For Press

(The Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ebiere Igode Adeh talks on the need for collaborative actions in combating VAWGs)

Gender and Development Action(GADA) is a non-governmental organization which has been in existence for about two decades now. They focus on women and girls, governance, livelihood issues, and the environment. GADA, who hosts the South-South Zonal Women’s Political Empowerment Office of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, is also the convener of the Women in Peace and Security Network Rivers State chapter. A nation-wide organization, GADA has offices in Abuja,Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Yenagoa.

While Violence Against Women and Girls(VAWGs) is a global problem, GADA is of the opinion that each community or location has its own peculiarities, and chipped in that their baseline survey of three communities within Bayelsa State(Otuasega, Ogobiri, and Tuburu) show differing predominance of the various types of VAWGs.

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