Recently, select Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) ramped up partnership with Akwa Ibom State Government in their bid to increasing awareness on health challenges surrounding violence against women and importance of health sector’s responses to Gender-Based Violence – GBV.
The concerned partners are focusing on both rural and urban areas of the State where lots of vulnerable persons have fallen victims of Gender-based Violence even in the urban areas.
The partnership was further strengthened on the ocassion of “strengthening the coordination of Gender-based violence in Akwa Ibom State” at the FEYREP office, Ewet Housing Estate Uyo organised by FEYREP, AWANDEC and WOCLIF in collaboration with WHARC, Akwa Ibom State Sexual and Gender Based Violence Respose Unit, FIDA and Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare with support from UNFPA.
Speaking on behalf of Civil society Organisations (CSOs) operating in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Ekanem Inyang said CSOs have recorded an appreciable milestones in improving the general wellbeing of the vulnerables under the auspicies of Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) operating currently in three States of the Federation, Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Lagos.
Dr. Inyang said in Akwa Ibom State, they have identified and registered their presence in three Local Government Areas which are: Eket, Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas out of which three communities have been randomly selected each and supported with sensitization on Covid-19 Sexual reproductive health.
He said the focused communities have also been supported with PPE materials, mobile phones to bridge communication gap between the people and the Organistion alongside other life serving items.
Dr. Inyang disclosed that the organisation has also waded into GBV cases in these areas in their quest to fight against gender based violence, as well as seeking justice for victims of such retarded incidence(s).
He commended the effort of response groups like FEYREP, FIDA amd others for their unrepentant pursuit to ensure the society is cured of ills that plague the sanctity of the people.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Ime Inyang, Coordinator of FEYREP envisaged a society where women shall unanimously stand in for victims of GBV and stigmatisation of victims completely eradicated.
Mrs. Inyang Sued for concerted enlightenment and awareness by the media, most especially reaching out to the rural dwellers who are mostly susceptible to GBV, with the appropriate medium of Communication perculiar to them.
On her part, Barr. Emem Ette, State Coordinator of Akwa Ibom State Sexual and Gender Based Violence Respose Unit observed that recently there has been a surge of rape cases among children between the ages of 5 to 8 in the State.
Barr. Ette reasoned that the law itself cannot correct the ills of the society, hence, the need for corporate efforts towards the fight against GBV, which was the crux of the occasion and called on service providers to take full advantage of their responsibilities as powered by the law.
She said FIDA has recently embraced collaboration which when strengthened and sustained shall make reasonable impacts against GBV by improving response and implementation of the law in favour of victims.
The Coordinator equally itemized some of their achievements so far to include: facilitating the removal of victims from places of harm, creating awareness on gender based violence etc, adding that, currently 25 convicts have been identified by the unit.
On her part, the State Chairperson of NAWOJ, Comrade Uduak Ekong pledged the renewed consciousness of Female Journalists in the State in disseminating informations that shall drastically reduce cases of gender based violence in the state in collaboration with FEYREP, FIDA, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders.
Women and community Livelihood Foundation says the new collaboration shall shall promote improved general wellbeing of GBV in the State
Also, the moderator and Executive Director, Women and Community Livelihood Foundation, Mrs. Uduak Umoh, one of the frontline CSOs in the State that has taken the lead in promoting general wellbeing for victims of GBV and other societal ills described the collaboration between the State Government, FEYREP, FIDA and CSOs as a formidable force that shall kick out GBV in the State and promote healthy living conditions.