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Group enlightens grassroots women on VAPP Act

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A cross section of women after the training in Abuja recently

To ensure grassroots women and girls are equipped with basic knowledge and information provided in the Violation Against Persons (Prohibition) (VAPP) Act, a non-governmental organisation, Initiative for Women and Girls Rights Advancement (IWOGRA), recently, held a workshop for Jikwoyi community residents in Abuja.

The group, however, provided simplified version of the Act to enable these women and girls understand the content.

The Executive Director, IWOGRA, Nkechi Obiagboso-Udegbunam, said uniqueness of women and the need for them to become catalysts for positive change in the society was key. Hence, women were enjoined to join the fight against sexual and gender-based violence and injustice they encounter, especially in excluded communities.

She, however, urged women to stop pulling each other down, but to reflect on issues affecting them.

Obiagboso-Udegbunam trained the participants on the provisions of the VAPP Act, 2015 in a simplified manner. Participants also shared real-life experiences and were taught how to get help when needed.

For Programmes Manager, IWOGRA, Omosigho Uwaila, the training was necessary to put out strategies for eradicating and preventing sexual and gender-based violence as well as to provide free legal counselling for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Deputy Director of IWOGRA, Sheila Audu, advised women and girls to always speak up against all forms of violence, as the “VAPP Act is there to punish offenders and give justice to survivors/victims of SGBV.”

Participants appealed for more enlightenment programmes so community people would be well informed.

His Royal Highness, Bawa Jetta of Jikwoyi Community, who recently received an award from the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for being the Most Cooperative Traditional Ruler, encouraged women and girls to put into practice what they were taught.

He stressed that rape was prohibited by culture and offenders (usually men), were disgraced publicly by stripping them naked and parading them around the community with a heavy stone on their neck to discourage others from indulging in the act.

He emphasised the need for consent and encouraged women not to look down on themselves but to aspire to be great.

The group, however, selected six persons among the participants to form the Sexual and Gender-based Violence Community Response Team committed to train the Response Team on how to receive complaints from the community women and girls, document evidence, write reports and report to relevant agencies for further action to combat and curb violence against women and girls in the community.


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