Stakeholders have lauded Sultan foundation for peace and development for reducing incidences of Gender Based Violence (GBV), Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and other harmful cultural norms in Adamawa State.
They also commended the organization for raising the bar of awareness through intensive sensitization and awareness creation which significantly changed the behavior of people on these harmful practices.
They noted that as a result of the foundation’s intervention, people unlike before are opening up on such cases which translated into lawsuit in many instances.
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 Friday.
Leading the chorus of commendations and approbations for the foundation, the village head of Damilu and Marafan Nasarawo Abba, Ismail Bello Damilu said, the intervention of Sultan foundation has led to a seismic change in the behavior of the people towards GBV, VAWG and other harmful practices.
He noted that with the awareness being created around the topic, communities are no more hiding such cases because of shame or stigmatization noting that everyone in the community is becoming aware that all hands must be on deck to checkmate the odious menace.
“Before, we are all guilty of hiding this menace thinking that by not speaking about it, we are saving the reputation and image of our communities. But with the awareness and education, we are now vanguards against any form of SGBV because we see it as a menace which must be tackled with vigor.
“There is also marked improvement in the behavior of our people towards such issues. While on one hand there is huge reduction in such ugly incidences, on the other hand when such incidences occur, people do not sweep them under the carpet as was the case before. The new approach of Sultan foundation in forming advocacy groups in communities which encompasses religious, traditional leaders as well as CSOs has also made huge impact on the crusade to end the menace,” he said.
He noted that so far his community platform Araya 2 has reported four cases of GBV and two are already in court.
Also speaking, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) in Yola North, Rev Nachim Sule also acknowledged the inroads made by the Sultan foundation towards changing human behavior in relation to GBV and other harmful practices.
“We are witnessing serious reduction in the incidences involving GBV and other harmful practices thanks for the years of support by Sultan foundation. Before you hear such incidences almost on a daily basis but now they have faded into insignificance.
“The VAPP law is also helping in shaping the mindset of the people because of the awareness that stiff penalties await perpetrators of such heinous crimes,” he said.
Also speaking, one of the resource persons behind the success of the crusade, Barr. Lubna Mohammed Dodo noted that with the intervention of Sultan foundation in Adamawa State, there was marked reduction of incidences of GBV in the state.
“These meetings and advocacies are impacting very well on the people as people always confess that they don’t know most of the issues that forms GBV and other harmful practices. They also understood the negative consequences of these vices and have readily keyed into the message as we now have more reported cases of GBV unlike before,” she said.