About one hundred and sixty women and girls rights defenders have been trained with relevant skills on ways to better engage with relevant authorities and community leaders on ways to end violence against women and girls in the state.

The training which is at the instance of the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development is aimed at mitigating and curtailing the increasing rate of violence against women and girls which is becoming prevalent in communities.

The training is supported by the EU-UN Spotlights Initiative project on addressing Gender Based Violence and promotion of and response to Gender equitable norms and response to SGBV/SRHR/HP in Nigeria.

Participants gathered at the Nurses House, Yola, the Adamawa state capital for the four-days intensive training.

Program Officer of the foundation Dr Muhammed Ibrahim Mustapha said the training became imperative following the raise in Gender Based Violence which many attributed the lockdown due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

” We are here today to train 160 women and girls rights defenders in handling violence against women and girls in our communities. We training them to be vanguards and engage with community, traditional and religious leaders to prevent violence against women and girls.” He said.

One of the facilitators, Sunday Amos trained participants on the need to educate stakeholders to better understand the prevalence of Violence Against Women and Girls and Harmful Practices at the community level.

” We’ve seen many fantastic programmes, well intentions, beneficial programmes fail not because the people didn’t want them, but because we didn’t understand the people and there specific needs and gatekeepers to knock on the right doors toward getting acceptance. So its about strategy.

” With more of this awareness especially with women and girls rights defenders, there will be a change in their programming. Now they will prioritise it and the success rate will be higher. People are appreciating this awareness and are making use of them.” He said.

Participants were also trained on how to identify gender based violence and harmful practices in the community, with focus on its legal and traditional perspectives.

They were also thought through on having a better understanding of women and girls rights defenders in the prevention of and response to violence against women and girls.

It is hoped that at the end of the training, participants will translate the messages and skills learned into action with a view to causing a positive change in their respective communities.