By JACKLYN SIRIAS
EAST Sepik Council of Women president Sophie Mangai wants men in the province to come out and join a drive to advocate against gender-based violence (GBV).
The coordinator for gender-based violence project in the province told The National that GBV was a prevalent issue in the country that called for support and cooperation from stakeholders and individuals to work together to address it.
“We are planning to hold the 20-days human rights programme in Wewak town with the stakeholders to help reduce crime in our society and I am appealing to men to come out and support the programme,” Mangai said.
She said due to funding constraints, the programme would be held over three days later this month and next month.
Mangai said the gender-based issue of violence against women and girls was one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations globally.
“It is a major obstacle to fulfilment of women and girls human rights and for the government to achieve the 2050 agenda for sustainable development,” she said.
Mangai said a new approach was taken on board by men who were willing to start advocating on gender-based violence.
“Men are also victims of these issues. When they sit down and count problems and do not participate in the programmes, who else will do it? Not the law-enforcing agency only, it is us together will drive this agenda for the wellbeing of our people in East Sepik,” Mangai said.
She said the 20-day human rights programme would start in November and because of financial constraints, they would have it on three days only – Nov 20 – international children’s day, Nov 25 – international violence against women and girls advocacy day and, Dec 10 – world human rights day.
“We will invite stakeholders from the courts, welfare, HIV and AIDS committee, health and others to speak to the public on those days,” Mangai said.
The country’s first national strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence was launched in March.
By JACKLYN SIRIAS