Medical Corps Members Empowered to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Kaduna State


Zakari Haruna, Kaduna 

A one-day sensitization programme for medical corps members on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has concluded in Kaduna State, emphasizing the critical role of awareness and reporting in tackling this pervasive issue. Organized by the Non-Governmental Organization ProjectSmile for Humanity Foundation, the event aimed to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to effectively address and report GBV incidents.

Held at the Magajin Gari NYSC Secretariat, the event saw a significant turnout of corps members who were eager to learn about their roles in combating GBV. The programme underscored the importance of reporting GBV cases to the appropriate authorities, a step deemed essential in the fight against such violence.

The event featured a keynote address by Professor Hauwa Evelyn Yusuf, a renowned expert on GBV. Professor Yusuf highlighted the critical need for corps members to be vigilant and proactive in reporting instances of violence. She stressed that ignoring such incidents only perpetuates the cycle of abuse and violence within communities.

“Gender-Based Violence is a serious issue that affects both women and men, and it is imperative that we all take responsibility in addressing it,” Professor Yusuf stated. “Corps members, as educated and influential individuals, have a unique role to play. You must be active Sexual and Gender-Based Violence actors wherever you find yourselves and report any perpetrators to ensure they face the appropriate consequences.”

The President of the Corps Medical Group at Magajin Gari NYSC Secretariat, Nabil Nasir, echoed Professor Yusuf’s sentiments, acknowledging the appropriateness of the topic. He pointed out a common misconception that GBV only affects women, noting that men can also be victims of such violence.

“The topic of today’s sensitization is very timely. It is important to understand that GBV does not discriminate; men can also be victims. It is our duty to ensure that every victim, regardless of gender, has a voice and that their cases are reported and addressed properly,” Nasir remarked.

A highlight of the event was the conferment of several corps members as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Ambassadors. These ambassadors are now tasked with the responsibility of raising awareness and advocating against GBV in their various places of assignment and beyond.

Speaking at the event, the founder and Executive Director of ProjectSmile for Humanity Foundation, Comfort Ojo, stressed the importance of the corps members’ new roles. She reminded them of their responsibility to help create a society free from the scourge of GBV.

Ms. Comfort Ojo commended the Kaduna State government for implementing laws aimed at punishing GBV perpetrators. She urged the newly appointed GBV Ambassadors to take their roles seriously and work diligently towards the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence.

“Our government has provided enabling laws to punish SGBV perpetrators, and it is up to us to ensure these laws are enforced. As SGBV Ambassadors, you have been given a significant responsibility. Cherish your ambassadorial appointments and use them to effect real change in your communities. Together, we can eliminate every kind of gender-based violence from our society,” Ms. Ojo encouraged.

The sensitization programme concluded with a renewed commitment from all participants to actively combat GBV. The event not only provided valuable information and strategies for addressing GBV but also fostered a sense of solidarity and responsibility among the corps members. 

By equipping these young leaders with the knowledge and tools to tackle GBV, ProjectSmile for Humanity Foundation has taken a crucial step towards creating safer and more supportive communities. 

The successful conclusion of this programme highlights the importance of continued education, awareness, and community involvement in the fight against gender-based violence in Kaduna State and beyond.

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