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Gov’s wife vows to end gender-based violence in Gombe, targets 45, 000 for empowerment

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Wife of the Gombe State governor, Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya, on Monday said the state government is working toward the elimination of all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

Yahaya gave the assurance while addressing journalists after a sensitisation walk in Gombe metropolis.

She said the exercise was part of the international campaign being observed in the state to mark 16 days of activism against GBV, adding that the menace has become a serious challenge to all stakeholders.

The governor’s wife stated that the previous year’s campaign yielded results as the governor received “our petitions and the bill has been forwarded to the House.”

According to her, the sensitisation walk was carried out to sustain the campaign toward ensuring that women and girls’ rights are protected.

“We are raising the awareness for people in Gombe to know that the menace is still with us and we must do everything possible to kick out all forms of violence against women and girls in the state,” she said.

She added that people must continue to say “no to any violations of women and girls’ rights, including rape and domestic violence.

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Yahaya explained that stigmatisation remained the biggest threat to getting people to come out to report violations, stressing that stigmatisation is a major cause of low reportage of cases in Gombe State.

“I heard of a case of a 5-year-old girl who was raped and dumped in the street. I went to the hospital to see her. Unfortunately, the girl’s parents ran away with her,” she said.

In efforts to ensure that violence against women was eradicated, the governor’s wife said empowerment was key because when women are empowered, they would not send their children, especially the girl-child, to hawk.

“We are doing a lot as we have started empowering some women in the state; we are targeting to empower 45, 000 women in the next four years,” she said.

She appealed to all stakeholders to help out in the campaign to end violence against women and girls in the state, while encouraging communities to break the culture of silence.

The first lady also appealed to the state governor, Inuwa Yahaya, to ensure that the Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Act (VAPP) were domesticated by his administration.

Also, the Gombe State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Naomi Awak, said the state government had been doing a lot to ensure protection of women and girls in the state.

Awak stated that part of the mandate of her ministry was to ensure the provision of psycho-social support for survivors of GBV through counselling and financial support, in some cases.

“We are committed to ensuring that we kick out all forms of violence and we appreciate Gov. Inuwa Yahaya for his support.

Our correspondent reports that participants in the road walk included stakeholders from various Civil Society Organisations, officials of National Human Rights Commission, Coalition of NGOs and the media

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