Impunity, Poverty, and Idleness: Banes of Gender-Based Violence – District Head
By: Femi Mustapha
The District Head of Soba in Zazzau Emirate of Kaduna state, Alhaji Bashir Shehu, has identified impunity, poverty, and idleness among youths as some of the factors responsible for the increased Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in society.
He asserted this on August 15, 2023, during an advocacy visit from Hope for Communities & Children Initiative (H4CC), seeking the support and collaboration of traditional rulers and other stakeholders from all strata of society to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
The Royal Father said that to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in society, the focus should not only be on crime, but most importantly on the causes of crime.
He opined that the fight against GBV must be dealt with at the local level, noting that parents, security agencies, and other stakeholders must come together to ensure that access to justice is accelerated.
He stressed that justice, development, and economies were all linked together while tasking the leaders and the elite class to help create more wealth and income opportunities for the poor.
He noted that most security problems all over his domain had their roots in the economic and justice systems of society, adding that poverty breeds angry and discontented people who, in turn, resort to extreme violence against society to ease their frustration.
Speaking earlier, the Garkuwan Dan-Barhim Zazzau Emirate, Alhaji Garba Umar, said Hope for Communities & Children Initiative (H4CC) is seeking the collaboration of the royal fathers as community leaders in the campaign to curb cases of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child slavery, among others, in Soba LGA.
He described the traditional rulers’ roles as central to winning the wars being waged against all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) by the government and (H4CC), an organization truly committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In her remarks, the Executive Director (H4CC), Hajia Hadiza Umar, said the onus to free women and girls from GBV lies in the society, government, traditional rulers, religious leaders, to disabuse members of the society, churches, mosques, communities of the notion that a woman is the dregs of society just because she is a woman.
Hajia Hadiza Umar, represented by Mallam Isah Suleman, hinged on the underlying factor for choosing Soba district, due to the prevalence of GBV vices in the district, corroborated by security agency reports and accounts from the community. He also said poverty and its rippling effect were factors contributing to the menace.
Similarly, the Education Secretary of Soba LGA, Aliyu Musa Soba, said the initiative got it right by including traditional rulers who are key to reducing gender-based violence in their communities, adding that tackling the problem would not leave out the parents and their crucial role in watching over their wards.