The UN Population Fund, with funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has began a national survey to provide comprehensive data on Sexual, Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Bauchi State.The Project Manager, Ms Deborah Tabara, stated this at the validation meeting of stakeholders on the GAC Landscape Preliminary Findings on Tuesday in BauchiTabara said that the survey was designed to fast track implementation of the project aimed at addressing SGBV, obstetric fistula, early marriages as well as harmful practices against women and girls.
She said that lack of data was one of the major obstacle militating against effective SGBV campaign in the state.“The survey is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the SGBV, harmful practices situation and to guide the development of well coordinated, systematic and programme wide approaches towards addressing gaps in gender inequality, empowering women and girls in Nigeria.“
Existing national and sub national data does not provide disaggregated information on the patterns and dynamics of SGBV including harmful practices and the impact of programming on changing social and gender norms.“The ultimate scope of the analysis is to generate a reference document,” she said.According to her, the UNFPA-GAC project is being implemented in Bauchi, Oyo and Sokoto States, aimed at reducing maternal mortality, SGBV, obstetric fistula as well as creating enabling environment for gender equity and equality.
Tabara said the project was being implemented in Itas-Gadau, Kirfi, Ningi, Gamawa and Tabawa Balewa Local Government Areas of Bauchi State.She said that the project had so far provided support to repair fistula and addressed issues with early marriages in the state.She said that the project also conducted various training programmes to build the capacity of government officials, community and religious leaders, health and judiciary workers on management and response to SGBV and obstetric fistula.The manager commended Gov. Bala Mohammed, for his support to the project.Also speaking, the Lead Consultant, Dr Yusuf Misau said the survey conducted through random sampling in selected communities across the five participating local government councils of the state.Misau said that issues of domestic abuse, early marriages and protection were identified as some of the problems affecting women and girls.
He said that the findings would provide data that would assist towards addressing SGBV, fistula, forced marriages and other gender related issues in the state.Misau said the survey recommended for comprehensive awareness creation activities, capacity building for community and religious leaders as well as implementation of poverty reduction and empowerment programmes.The survey also recommended for the abolishing of harmful cultural practice, early marriages and enhancement of of girl child education programmes.Also speaking, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BPHCDA), lauded the UNFPA-GAC for the exercise.
Mohammed said the data would enhance protection of women and girls against violence in the state.On his part, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Women Affairs, also commanded UNFPA-GAC for the exercise.
Ibrahim, represented by Fatima Abdullahi, Director Women Affairs in the ministry, reiterated the state government’s commitment to partner with development organisations to end SGBV, fistula and empower women.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of the line ministries, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and development organisations. (NAN)