Kogi state government on Thursday begin the process to domesticate the National Gender Policy and its framework.
It was gathered that the national gender policy provides guidelines for mainstreaming gender in various sectors of the economy with the overall goal of reducing gender inequalities and enhancing participation of women, men, girls and boys in socio-economic and political development.
While speaking at an event in Lokoja on Thursday to mark the 16 days of activism to end gender based violence against women and girls, State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba, said the domestication of the policy will address gender equality, empowerment of women and social inclusion which holistically will address gender based violence.
Buba, who distributed copies of the national gender policy and framework to officially commenced the domestication of the policy in Kogi, posited that a multi sectoral approach and gender responsive budgeting across board is key to mitigating gender based violence.
She stressed that it has become pandemic, hence the need for government, civil society organizations, young people, both boys and girls, private sector, including the media to continue to join forces to address the global pandemic of GBV.
“The Ministry of Women Affairs has the mandate to carryout protection and responses on GBV. We have always reinstated the ministry commitment at every fora of discussions to be more practical in our activities and to implement more programmes which include domestication of National Gender Policy and also to allocate more resources for the case and gender management system,” she added.
In her speech, the Executive Director, Concerned Youths and Teens Forum, Barr. Joy Akinola
noted that, this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence carries a powerful message: “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.”
“This simple yet profound statement encapsulates the essence of our struggle: a fight not just to respond to the devastating consequences of violence, but to prevent it from occurring in the first place”.
While noting that violence against women and girls is a global epidemic that knows no boundaries, Akinola emphasized that it permeates every corner of society, transcending race, religion, and socio-economic status, stressing that, it is a violation of human rights and an obstacle to gender equality.
She said “in Kogi State, we do not have official statistics of violence against women however, despite the tireless efforts of many, the reality remains harsh. Women face domestic violence, sexual harassment and harmful traditional practices.
“But we must not let these statistics define us. We must not become numb to the cries of pain and injustice. Instead, let these statistics be a clarion call, urging us to rise up and demand change. To combat this pervasive issue, we must invest in prevention. The theme “Invest to Prevent” is crucial because it highlights the need for a shift in our approach.
“We need to move beyond reactive measures and invest in prevention initiatives that address the root causes of violence. These investments include:Empowering women and girls through education and economic opportunities”.