The ECOWAS Commission’s Department of Social Affairs and Gender ended the 5th Online Engagement with the ECOWAS Regional Partners/CSOs/NSAs Working Group Against Gender Based Violence/Violence Against Children (ECW-RPWG-GBV/VAC) on Friday, 3rd December 2021. With the theme: “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!” in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, the meeting was the last of the four meetings in year 2021.
In her opening remarks, Dr. SintikiTarfa-Ugbe, Director, Humanitarian and Social Affairs, who was represented by HajiyaRaheematMomodu, Head, Human Security and Civil Society Division, encouraged members of the regional Group to share their Studies, Tools, Instruments and experiences in combating the dangerous menace of GBV/VAC which had spiked since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as that is the essence of the Group. HajiyaMomodu proposed to the Working Group the organisation of a joint “big activity” in 2022 in commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism to send a loud and collective voice against GBV/VAC. She reiterated the need for partnership to promote multisectoral approach and intersectoral coordination amongst members.
In her presentation on ECOWAS Human Security and Civil Society Division Work Plan and Prospects for Partnership, HajiyaMomodu, reiterated that the Protection Mandate of the Division, cuts across all programmes of the Division including Social Dimension of Counter Human Trafficking, Child Rights/ Protection and Child Labour, Women Peace and Security, Emergency Protection and Civil Society engagement. She gave an update on the Division’s successful establishment of Protection and Human Security Integrated Coordination Mechanisms in the Offices of the Vice Presidents of The Gambia and Sierra Leone and Office of the Prime Minister of Burkina towards promoting a whole of Government and Society approach to strengthening protection and human security. She also presented an overview of the Division’s 2022 workplan. The Drug Prevention and Control Division of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate also made a presentation on her 2022 Work plan. The presentations generated interest from members of the Group and they made their commitments to support ECOWAS.
Mr. Yehualashet Mekonen, from the African Partnership to End Violence Against Children (APEVAC) within the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), made a presentation titled “How Friendly are ECOWAS Member States Towards Girls?” According to him, the presentation represents key findings from the African Report on Child Wellbeing 2020. Reflecting on the presentation, a Committee consisting of ECOWAS Commission, ACPF, World Vision and WACSOF was set up to develop a template for ‘Spot Lighting’ Member States on GBV/VAC planned by the Working Group for 2022.