By Correspondent in Ilorin
A development and health data expert,
Mr Umar Bolaji, has said that data capturing of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) survivors remained crucial to efforts at reducing its negative health and socio-economic impact on the victims.
Bolaji, who doubles as the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager,Olive Community Development Initiative (OCDI), an NGO, stated this at data coordination meeting of stakeholders’meeting on SGBV.
Our Correspondent gathered that the meeting was funded by ActionAid Nigeria through OCDI in collaboration with the Kwara Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The expert said such move would show decision makers the prevalence of violence in communities and spur them to action.
According to him,it would also help more women, suffering in silence, to find their voice and speak out in order to reduce the health and socio-economic impact of SGBV on survivors and attract government response toward checking the menace.
“The data will be used to capture information on SGBV and data of Orphans and Vulnerable Children(OVC) in the state.
“It is crucial for the state’s decision making process, especially as regards women and children who are to a very large extent on the receiving end,”he said.
Bolaji identified capacity gap as a major factor responsible for poor implementation of government policies, programmes and many other laudable initiatives, adding that the development had led to huge financial and developmental losses for the country.
“Kwara state f has particularly recorded more than a decade of training deficit affecting a large proportion of its public personnel.
“The state is now faced with a human resources left behind by non-governmental counterparts, especially in areas requiring high level of expertise to achieve set developmental targets.
“This has led to the need to augment support for the state in its fight against SGBV”, Bolaji said.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Abosede Aremu, who was represented by the Director of Women in the ministry, Alhaja Nike Medina, commended OCDI and the technical experts for developing data collection tool for the Ministry.
Aremu said it was very timely for the Ministry,particularly at a period when government fundings were highly competitive and required objective justification, to make such data accessive to relevant organisations charged with the responsibility of mitigating gender-based violence in the state.
Miss Toni Adeleke, the Executive Director of OCDI who represented ActionAid Nigeria at the event, reiterated the group’s commitment toward seeing that women enjoy basic human rights as their male counterparts.
Adeleke said that the dignity and rights of women would be upheld in the state, adding that sexual and gender based violence would be reduced to the barest minimu in the state and Nigeria at large.
Our correspondent,reports that the stakeholders meeting was aimed at collation of data from Jan. to June 2021 and help the ministry adopt standardized indicators for OVC programming in the state.
Present at the event were representatives from Women wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) among others.