KAIPTC, Partners empower Benin local actors in fight against Gender-Based Violence

Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi, Director of the Women’s Youth Peace and Security Institute (WYPSI) at Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, (KAIPTC) has emphasized the importance of capacity-building for local actors to the reduction of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the West and Central Africa sub-region.

She noted that empowering individuals and communities would foster stronger advocacy and education efforts in the fight against the GBV scourge.

Mrs Agyare-Kwabi was speaking at the opening of a five-day training in Cotonou, Benin to equip local actors with the skills to combat GBV.

It brought together 29 participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), legal practitioners, the media, religious leaders and traditional authorities.

The programme, under the theme: ‘Enhancing the Capacity of Local Actors to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Benin’, was organized by WYPSI of the KAIPTC, with funding from the Sweden International Developm
ent Agency (SIDA).

Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi

‘This initiative aligns with the KAIPTC’s broader strategic objective of supporting African nations in implementing the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security,’ Mrs Agyare-Kwabi said.

She also underscored the collective responsibility of all to create a future free from violence, discrimination, and fear for all women and girls across Africa.

The fight against GBV, she stressed, require a multifaceted approach, and ‘this program is to help you as local actors to play a vital role in achieving lasting change in your communities and country as a whole,’ she said.

Mrs Agyare-Kwabi encouraged participants to actively engage in the training and translate the acquired knowledge into concrete actions within their communities.

She remained hopeful that the training would enhance individual knowledge, foster positive attitu
des, and encourage teamwork among local actors-ultimately creating a more comprehensive approach to preventing GBV-leading to a safer future for women and girls.

Some participants at the opening session of the training

Participants explored existing legal frameworks, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), while highlighting the critical role of local actors in promoting a culture of peace, equality, and respect for all.

The participants were exposed to the growing understanding of the links between poverty, insecurity, and GBV, particularly in the context of limited capacity of local actors and low rates of prosecution of GBV perpetrators in many communities across the sub-region.

President of Benin’s National Platform on Religious Affairs, Sa Majesté Dada Daagbo, in his remarks commended KAIPTC for the initiative.

GBV in most communities, he said, often went unreported beca
use of fear of victimization.

He shared his observation that the workshop had allowed participants deepen their knowledge appropriate to preventing GBV in their communities.

Sa Majesté Daagbo who is one of the most important figures in the Voodo religion in West Africa, also highlighted the need for awareness creation, saying, ‘I would like to encourage the KAIPTC to endeavour to translate the key learning points from the training into the local languages of the countries where the project is taking place so as to help sustain awareness.’

Madam Myriam Capo-Chichi, president of Family Nutrition Development, an NGO dedicated to GBV issues in Benin, in her remarks noted that while Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in her country had invested in eradication strategies, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) continued to rise at an alarming rate, with women and girls being the primary targets.

She stressed that effective outcomes from the training would depend on the efforts and contributions of all local actors who com
mit their energies to eradicating the GBV scourge.

Source: Ghana News Agency