ENDING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE: INVOLVING ALL QUARTERS IN THE STRUGGLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.
In many communities, GBV could often be seen as the lack of political, socio-cultural, economic willingness to build a world free from violence. Despites the many struggles involved in ending GBV; gender based violence is still a security concern and thus the need to fully involve the participation of all quarters (from Community to Religious leaders, Civil society, Youth groups , NGOs and other agencies) in the struggles to End Gender Based Violence, principally Violence Against Women.
On a personal effort how do I commit in this struggle:
As a young ardent advocate for No to Violence against women, living in a region where young people ( mostly women) makes the highest population faced in the communities’ struggle and most critically with discrimination simply by virtue of being a female. This include Intimidation, Domestic and Sexual abuse from Peer, Intimate partners etc. In this light, it is essential to identify quarter’s concern and seeking ways to work in close collaboration as a means to end the struggle, and as such one can convincingly say that our outreach programmes and continuous sensitization activities have already aroused a lot of public awakening and awareness, by:
1. Associating with Community and Religious leaders: sensitizing leaders by increasing knowledge, understanding on GBV and its consequences to the community, so as to be given the opportunity to educate the community, possibly, on special occasions, eg. Festive sessions etc on new and effective measures in identifying early warnings and best practices to prevent the conflicts.
2. Networking with social and school Clubs, Associations and other youth agencies: worked with their representatives where they are trained on basic advocacy skills needed to help end all forms of violence against women. To compliment this act, we ensure continues monitoring and opportunities for recommendations.
3. Collaborate with women’s centers, law enforcement stations and other gender sensitive institutions, where cases of victims violated and abused relationships are reported, for appropriate measures taken.
4. Involving young people: young people are moved with audiovisuals (online and / or local media) and do also enjoy sporting activities, as such we explore those areas and make available educational spots/materials like flyers, stickers etc
Some evident Impact:
Individual level -
“I used to be a very aggressive and quick temper person and my last relationship changed my life for good. I am now gender aware and had vowed not to ever mistreat a woman no matter what circumstances“. Nestor, June 2010.
“I am very conscious of the fact that women are not to be treated like a second class citizen, they should be given equal opportunities and be regarded as colleagues and should be respected “. Peeters, April 2010.
“I gain the understanding in becoming economically independent and that, I hold on the principle till date”. Odette Mar 2010
Community and Institutional level -
Communities are more awake as they develop the public’s interest on violence against women as a result we have been receiving invitation to reach out to communities where sensitization is needed.
Some school clubs have benefited from trainings and are thus giving the clubs a gender dimension which they encourage their female members to take up leadership positions, as they also uses advocacy as a tool in mainstreaming gender based violence in their program of activities.
Over 50 young boys and girls have gain skills and elementary knowledge to fight against violence on women through seminar, workshops, campaign organized saying No to violence against women.
“A Safer World to Women – No to Violence against Women” November 2009, some 10 associations, clubs from the University of Buea joined the 16 days action against GBV.