A non-governmental organization, the Girls Power Initiative (GPI) has trained over 50, 000 girls in Cross River State on reproductive health/rights, management skills as well as leadership skills. The training, according to the GPI is aimed at helping them lead better lives and contribute meaningfully to the society.
This was disclosed by Comfort Ikpeme, the co-coordinator of the GPI Calabar Centre during a three-day training for law enforcement officers, media persons, religious leaders as well as community leaders on gender-based issues particularly cases of violence against girls and women.
According to her, “For Calabar Centre, last year we were counting over 1,500 girls and of course this year, we have graduated over 50 girls and I can comfortably say over 1,550 girls have graduated from the centre and for Cross River State we have graduated over 50, 000 girls.
“We work in different local governments, communities and reach the girls in schools. When they come here, they are divided into various groups based on their ages and give them age-appropriate information to enable them to lead better lives”, she said.
She said the training was imperative because cases of violence against girls and women happen on a daily basis and the way society responds to it does not make sense hence the need for the training to help address and minimize the occurrence of such vices.
“These cases happen on a daily basis and sometimes, the way they respond to it does not make sense because they do not have the right information.
“So we are building their skills and creating the awareness on how to handle such cases when they come about them so as to see how we can prevent cases of violence against women in our various places”, she said.
Some participants who spoke after the training said their knowledge of gender-based issues have been broadened and several misconceptions have been put in proper perspective. Several religious leaders, media practitioners, community leaders as well as personnel from relevant security agencies attended the three-day training.