World Bank and Nasarawa State Government Collaborate to Combat Gender-Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation

The World Bank, in partnership with the Nasarawa State government, convened a one-day sensitization workshop aimed at addressing the alarming prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) and female genital mutilation (FGM). The workshop, organized under the Nigeria COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project, sought to engage stakeholders in tackling these critical issues affecting the girl child.

Community and religious leaders representing all 13 Local Government Areas of the state gathered for the workshop, acknowledging the pressing need to address the rising cases of GBV and FGM. Esther Yonah, Gender Pillar Head of CoPREP in Nasarawa State, underscored the detrimental effects of these practices on the self-esteem and well-being of women. Despite numerous awareness campaigns, female rights continue to be neglected, necessitating concerted efforts to combat GBV and FGM.

Yonah emphasized the importance of stakeholder commitment in implementing the state’s action plan developed earlier to ensure safety in workplaces, schools, and communities. The workshop served as a platform to cascade the action plan to stakeholders at the community level, empowering them to develop comprehensive strategies tailored to their localities.

Justina Allu, Director of Public Defender at the Nasarawa State Ministry of Justice, highlighted the need for behavioral change, particularly among young females regarding indecent dressing. Allu reiterated that indecent exposure constitutes an offense under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, with penalties including imprisonment or fines. She called for increased awareness and adherence to legal provisions to curb sexual harassment and molestation.

In response, Adams Maka-Namgba, District Head of Wakama electoral ward, expressed gratitude to the organizers and pledged collective efforts to address challenges facing females in the state. The workshop concluded with a renewed commitment from stakeholders to combat GBV and FGM and promote gender equality and women’s rights.


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