By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja Nigeria
Afrihealth Optonet Association has finally presented it’s Communique from the International Symposium On ‘Understanding and Ending Gender Based Violence, GBV, to Nigeria Women Affairs Minister, Dame Pauline Tallen on Thursday, 4 March, 2021, at the Federal ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja.
Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje
Programmes Director/CEO Civil Society for Elimination of Gender-Based Violence (CS4EGBV) Project
Afrihealth Optonet Association [CSOs Network], during the formal submission of the communique from the International Symposium On ‘understanding And Ending Gender-based Violence (Gbv), said, “In Our Societies’ Which Was Organized by Afrihealth Optonet Association, On 14 January 2021. Afrihealth Optonet Association is a community-focused CSOs network/think-tank of about 1000 organizations in the global South for the promotion of Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being; and the SDGs, using partnerships, advocacy, research/evidence-generation, capacity development, outreaches, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as strategies; while focusing on rural and poor urban communities, marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged populations especially women, children, adolescents and elderly; and exploring the nexus/interlinkages between Health, Energy and Environment – including climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems, Nutrition and Food Security, and Gender, Good Governance and Human Rights. AFRIHEALTH has a Consultative Status at the United Nations ECOSOC
“Afrihealth is currently promoting the Civil Society for Elimination of Gender-Based Violence (CS4EGBV) Project, 2020-2030. In commemoration of ‘16 Days of Activism’ in 2020, Afrihealth Optonet Association [CSOs Network] organized a zoom ‘Town Hall Meeting’, the topic of which was Taming the Monster: Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls (SGVAWG) During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. On 14 January 2021, AFRIHEALTH organized an international symposium on ‘Understanding and Ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in our Societies’. On 2 February, AFRIHEALTH organized the International Conference on Cervical Cancer with the theme: Prevention, Treatment and Mitigation of Cervical Cancer in Resource constrained Settings during the COVID-19 Pandemic era and Beyond. Today 4 March 2021, AFRIHEALTH organized the 2021 International Women’s Day Conference with the theme: Harnessing and Promoting Women’s Leadership to Overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic and Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030; a conference at which Your Excellency the Honourable Minister delivered the Keynote address, and for which participants were most grateful.
“We hereby humbly submit to your Excellency, the communique from our international conference on ‘Understanding and Ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in our Societies’, for your kind attention and submission to the Federal Government, African Union and United Nations”.
Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, while speaking outlined civil Society’s Roles In the Elimination of all forms of ‘GBV’,
“We submit for your kind considerations, the following experience and traditionally informed roles for AFRIHEALTH Civil Society Network and partners involved eliminating all forms of GBV; as constituting the roles of the civil society in eliminating all forms of GBV; for your considerations:
To reach out to the wider civil society and communities to mobilize them for eliminating all forms of GBV using community-focused activities, and the critical support the governments needs to enable the country actualize the intentions of eliminating all forms of GBV; Monitoring the implementation of the efforts and activities for eliminating all forms of GBV; Advocating the integration of the elimination of all forms of GBV with the National Development Plan(s) in a seamless manner to avoid unnecessary duplications;
Collection and provision of data on all forms of GBV and support to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, partners/line MDAs and National Bureau of Statistics as may be required; Advocacy for budget and resource allocation/provision to ensure that efforts at eliminating all forms of GBV are fully realized;
Participate in surveys related to eliminating all forms of GBV; Provide shadow reports for the Voluntary National reviews as may be needed from time to time; Bring the elimination of all forms of GBV SDGs into the political space to ensure that political entities and intending office holders key into the SDGs-5, 16, 17 and other related SDGs as a matter if utmost priorities; and
Provide effective partnership with other sectors (government, businesses/private for-profit sector, media) and the leadership for the civil society to reach out to the wider communities to achieve the goal of eliminating all forms of GBV.
“We request that these roles of the civil society be explicitly provided in Nigeria’s policies and plans for eliminating all forms of GBV”, he added.
Reacting to the submission, the Nigeria Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen ably represented by Mr. Femi Alaka of the Department of Gender Affairs of the Ministry, assured Afrihealth Optonet Association of prompt action.
Earlier, the minister applauded the CSO for it’s resilient efforts in curbing the GBV menace in Africa and beyond, pointing that Afrihealth is one of its partners that has shown great commitment in it’s pursuit for a free GBV Africa.
Delegations from Afrihealth Optonet Association were Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje and Dr. Nnedimma Iwueke. Also in the team was Mr. Chukwudi Ozalla of Advocacy for Change Initiative.