By Adeola Ajakaiye, in Kano
The mounting social and economic difficulties being experienced in the country have been identified as one of the chief factors fueling the rising incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in recent times, a research work conducted by Kano State Justice Reform Team has indicated.
Over 4000 cases of sexual and other related violence against mostly young children whose age ranges from below 13 years, were said to have been recorded in Kano State in the last five years by a Sexual Assault Referral Centre established in the state through the technical assistance provided by Justice for All (J4A), a DFID funded intervention programme, the reform team disclosed.
Sanusi Aliyu Yakasai, chairman of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), gave this hint while briefing journalists on a ‘16 days’ activism for Elimination of Gender-Based Violence currently being executed, in partnership with other stakeholders, as part of a Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme, flagged off at the weekend in the state.
Yakasai, who was represented at the occasion, noted that the state, which has consistently been experiencing a growing population of economic migrants, particularly people seeking job fulfillment, has been exposed to an increased tendency for sexually related violence against women and children.
“The establishment of SARC in Kano State has contributed to the effective management of sexual and gender-based violence cases and prosecution of perpetrators, but more work is still required. Meanwhile, the staff of the team have enjoyed several pieces of training and are well equipped to provide quality services as well as create awareness on SGBV, management of cases, and prosecution of perpetrators.
“The center has since recorded over 4000, and still counting, cases of sexual violence against mostly young children below the age of 13 years. With its ever-growing population, Kano cosmopolitan has been exposed to increasing tendencies of the risk against women and girls. For example, Dala Local Government Area, which is the most populous LGA in the state, has recorded a worsening incidence of abuse against women and girls.
“This is closely followed by Kumbotso, Nassarawa, Tarauni, and other LGAs in the metropolitan area of the state. Yet, for far too long, impunity, silence, stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportion,” he stated.
Commenting on the 16 days activism campaign mounted in the state, the commissioner disclosed that it was part of an annual global event usually carried out across the world on the 25th of November under the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girl-Child.
He further stated that the day is usually marked till the 10th of December of every year, as part of Human Rights Day, which provided an opportunity to galvanize action towards ending violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
“In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc, and others have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced anymore. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.
“This is the reason for this global campaign and advocacies and the theme for this year is, ‘Orange the World: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’. In the light of the above, therefore, Kano State GBV Response Team/Sexual Assault Referral Centre, in partnership with the Association of Free Legal Aid Service Providers, supported by the Rule of Law and Anti –Corruption Programme (RoLAC) has planned the celebration of 16 days of activism,” he added.