From a 3km road walk in Awka, Anambra state to a community radio show in Onitsha, Anambra state, Voice to the People partners joined the rest of the globe to ‘orange the world’ and raise awareness against gender-based violence during the 16 days of activism (#16DOA) which occurred from the 25th of November to the 10th of December.

Global figures show that one in three women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, making it a global and public health crisis that needs urgent action (Tapply, 2015). Riding on the popularity of V2P’s weekly radio show in Onitsha, the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Onitsha stimulated among a wide audience discussions and debates on the actions that community members can take to end violence against women.

Taking any action however begins first with the recognition of its dangers plus the power that communities have to reverse the practice by changing the culture of silence. “Raising awareness on the dangers of violence is important as more people will kick against this vice” said Barrister Loretta, a member of International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) during the show.

In addition, the community contexts show that there is an urgent need to strengthen the enforcement of the laws that protect women and girls against violence. This includes the enacting of cultural laws that empower people to rally round victims of violence. “This will be a more effective way of reducing the incidences since people will confidently report cases if the laws are in place to protect them” Barrister Loretta added.

Going beyond awareness raising, logbooks were given to Community Based Monitors (CBM) in Awka to track the number of incidences of violence in their communities. To strengthen the reporting and response mechanisms available for cases of violence, the logbooks will be submitted to FIDA, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and the Ministry of Justice National Orientation Agency (NOA) every quarter for the cases to be taken up appropriately.

More awareness raising occurred in Awka town as V2P partner, JDPC Awka coloured Awka orange with a 3 km road walk organised in collaboration with Coalition of Eastern NGOs (CENGO). Men and President Generals* (PG) of V2P communities took the lead role during the walk, encouraging men to change their behaviours and adopt a culture that frowns against gender-based violence.

V2P project is committed to ensuring that the poor and marginalized know and can claim their rights. This includes women and other socially excluded groups having their voices heard and meaningfully represented in other to improve their choices to live in a world free of violence.

*President-General is the head of the Town Union. The Town Union makes all decisions about community development

image and reference from http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/2015/11/orange-the-world-end-violence-against-women/

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