GBV:Stakeholders seek Revival of Community Based Peace Committee

By,  Abdullahi Alhassan,

The need for the revival of the Community Peace Committee (also known as Zauren Sulhu) as a means of resolving gender-based violence among the Communities.

Concern especially in the North has been stressed by stakeholders present at a one-day forum organised by Equal Access International (EAI) in Kano.

Other factors stressed to mitigate the menace of GBV include adequate sensitization to dispel some cultural beliefs, the need for capacity building for both religious, and traditional leaders and influencers, advocacy, and right orientation for both the boy and girl child from early childhood as well as premarital counseling for couples.

The meeting was organized as part of the activities of EAI to mark the United Nations' 16 days of Activism to eliminate violence against women which usually starts on the 25th of November to the 10th of December, on Wednesday in Kano.

Speaking to Pressmen after the meeting,  EAI State Program Manager, Maryam Mohammed, explained that the presence of a Community Peace Committee in a community makes people rethink any negative intention especially when he/she knows they will be ridiculed.

She said, "This is a group of people set up to look into issues that happened in the community to resolve them without necessarily going to the Police. At the community level, they can look into issues, intervene, or resolve them.

"Having such a committee would help because when a person with bad intention looks at it and sees that if he does wrong and is taken to that committee, he will be ridiculed, maybe he will have a rethink."

The program officer further noted that there are so many issues such as rape, domestic violence, economic deprivation of the women, and incessant divorce which make up violence against women, hence the need for public sensitization to reduce it to the barest minimum.

"Sometimes parents push their young daughters to marriage that ends up becoming a horror to her and at the end of the day, what she is experiencing, ordinarily somebody would not like to experience."

"Also if we can have policies and laws that frown at this kind of violence, it will checkmate this kind of dealings, because one tends to think twice before committing any atrocity such as rape.

"On reorientation, we need to have a change of mindset on the way we bring up our children. Sometimes the girls are brought up to be better persons than the boys. we should also have a way of training our boys to grow up and be responsible. From the start, tell them what to do or behave.

"By and large, it is a collective responsibility for all because violence doesn't pay; it is a violation of someone's right whether to the woman, girl child or a boy, or whoever. We shouldn't be violent to anyone," she said

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