Stakeholders in Adamawa have disclosed that there is a remarkable improvement in the approach and behavior of the people towards gender norms and harmful practices in Adamawa as a result of the intervention of the Sultan foundation for peace and development towards sensitizing the people on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
The stakeholders made the revelation during a town hall meeting to mobilize men on advocacy and messaging in the promotion of gender equitable norms and prevention of VAWG, SGBV/HP in Yola North, Adamawa State on Thursday.
Speaking on the benefits of the intervention to the people, Umaru Hammanjoda, the village head of Alkalawa and Kacallan Jimeta noted that as a result of the intervention, the people are becoming responsive to VAWG, SBV and other harmful practices as they are speaking up and also helping to educate other members of the community.
He noted that as a result of the intervention of the Sultan foundation, they have now formed a community of ambassadors against the menace which include, religious and traditional leaders, local vigilante groups and youths in the community.
Hammanjoda noted that traditional leaders are actively involved in the crusade and are playing crucial roles against cultural norms and other practices that are harmful to girls and women because of the critical role women play in the development of communities.
He said with the new approach, people are willing to expose any form of violence against women and girls and are willing to go the whole hug to ensure justice dispensation.
Also another ambassador of the Araya I, a community platform birthed to champion the cause of women and girls against any form of SGBV, Fauziyya Salihu noted that SBV has drastically reduced as people are now more aware of the implications and consequences of such odious acts.
She noted that in the same vein, parents and women are becoming more informed about the need to expose perpetrators of the violence so that appropriate punishment will be meted to them.
She thanked the Sultan foundation for constantly training members of the Araya group I, noting that such training always provide the impetus for more action and awareness creation.
Salihu noted that her team is bracing to go to every nook and cranny of Yola North to sensitize the people on the need to become vanguards of SBV and VAWG and other harmful cultural practices.
Also speaking, the coordinator of Sultan foundation in Adamawa, Barr. Amina Mohammed Ali noted that there was a marked shift in the attitude and behavior of people towards GBV, VAWG and other harmful practices as a result of the intervention of her organization.
“There has been tremendous shift and change in the behavior, norms and practices of the people of the communities because at times when they are carrying out these activities they weren’t aware that they are offences or they are harmful practices that should be refrain from being carried out but with the awareness and sensitization that we have been carrying out there is a certain shift in the minds of the people that some of these things are wrong and have to be done away with despite the fact that they are cultural things which people believed in over the years.
“We intend to see people are more aware not only on the gender and social norms that are suppressive to women and girls but they will also be able to speak out against some of these practices and mobilize people to see that these things are stopped entirely.
“We also enlighten people on how to prevent the occurrence of these harmful practices against women and girls and thank God we have witnessed sharp reduction of the menace. The advocacy is helping a lot. We will reach out to many other communities,” she said.