Professor Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Founder and Executive Director of Women Aid Collective(WACOL)/Tarma SARC has urged stakeholders from different MDAs in Ebonyi State to join hands in the fight against gender-based violence in the state.
Processor Ezeilo noted that government MDA’s understanding of the course of GBV and how to eliminate it should be their concern while designing programs.
She spoke in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital during a one-day training organized by the organization, the state Ministry of Women Affairs in partnership with UN-Women under the joint EU/UN Spotlight Initiative Project.
Represented by Dorothy Oleka Director of Programme WACOL, the human rights/ woman activist said inter-sectoral agencies have a role to play in the elimination of VAWG.
She advocated for improved budgetary allocations in Ebonyi Ministries, Departments, and Agencies(MDAs) to end all forms of violence against women and girls in the state.
The training with the theme: Strengthening training workshops for government MDA on project design, budget implementation, and monitoring to eliminate VAWG/SGBV/HP and promote women and girls SRHR, had stakeholders from different government MDA, ministries, and the media as participants.
She noted that the rate of violence against women and girls is very alarming and called for well-improved budgetary provisions in the budget to eliminate the act.
According to her VAWG is living with society as it affects us directly and indirectly so when MDAs are planning, they should think of how to protect children and women from their perspective. “Use your MDA to contribute to the elimination of GBV in your state”.
Ezeilo urged the MDAs to ensure there are budgetary provisions for issues of Gender-Based Violence and to bring in programs that will help to reduce violence against women and girls in the state.
Her words, “it is a UN Spotlight project, it is funded by UN Women. If Ebonyi State is free of violence against women and children and other states that we are working, we believe that very soon, violence against women and girls will be a thing of the past.
“It was a deliberate selection of the people that participated. We wish we could have gotten all the MDAs in Ebonyi State but because of the reality of funding, we will be able to get 25 persons. We brought in those in charge of Planning, Research, and Statistics, Permanent Secretary because they are the administrative heads of the ministries, we brought in those who are responsible for budgeting, those who are responsible for implementation.
“We brought them in because of their positive positions in the ministries. These are the people who plan the budget, they do the planning. They converge and go for the defense at the planning commission. So, we brought them in because we want them to know that violence against women and girls is in society so when they are planning programs for each of the MDAs, they should bring in such programs that will help to ameliorate violence against women and girls such that after a long run, we could eliminate it”.
Nancy Oko Onya a facilitator in the workshop called for responsive budgeting to be able to eliminate VAWG in the state.
“In Gender budgeting, the government should provide measures to secure women while empowering them as such will help to eliminate VAWG”.
Judith Ugwuoke also aresource person in the program said relevant stakeholders should be carried along from the planning stage to the implementation stage in every program of the MDA.
She highlighted ways to end GBV to include, including increasing the access of women survivors to quality services.
Adding that while there is a need to work to prevent GBV we should also advocate for the survivors.