By Churchill Okoro, Benin
New efforts are being made to protect women from violence. Now, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Women’s Right and Health Project (WRAHP) on Thursday raised the awareness of 30 youths on the provisions of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) 2015.
Bose Ironsi, Executive Director of the organisation, said the empowerment was part of efforts to enhance protection of women and girls against gender-based violence.
Speaking at a 3-day workshop for young people on VAPP law in Benin, Ironsi said the beneficiaries, including male and female, were selected as community representatives from Egor and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas of Edo State.
She said that the 12-month project, which was sponsored by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), would go a long way to empower recipients to act as agents of social change through information sharing and advocacy in their respective communities.
She further said that they would conduct advocacy and engagement activities with the Ministry of Justice and the Nigeria Police to improve the support provided to survivors seeking justice.
The ED, while noting that similar project is ongoing in Ebonyi State, said that in addition to the training, they would produce and disseminate 5,000 copies of the law when the Edo State VAPP law, which is currently being reviewed, is signed into law.
“We trained 30 adults in the first phase, and this second phase is for 30 youths. We hope that, subsequently, we will be training media, police and government workers.
“WRAHP will work in the two local government areas to empower beneficiaries with specific knowledge on the provisions of the law and reporting pathways to ensure that communities become more visible in reporting sexual and gender-based violence cases to the police and work as agents of change in their communities.
“These community people are not just an individual; they are representatives of different structures so that at the end of the training they will go back to their group to disseminate the information they have gathered, thereby reaching out to a larger population”, Ironsi said.
“As an organisation, our thematic areas are rights and health of women, girls and community. So, this is fulfilling one of the areas; our vision of having a society where everybody develop their potential and respect their dignity as a person using rights-based approach,” she added.
Charity Chris-Ebosele, Director, Edo State Ministry of Justice, on her part, said the project was apt amid rising cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.