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ECOWAS Hosts Regional Training Workshop on GBV Prevention for Health Sector Actors

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The ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) conducted a three-day regional workshop on the prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) for health sector actors. Held in Lomé, Togo, from June 19 to 21, 2024, the event was organized in collaboration with USAID and the Ford Foundation.

Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, officially opened the workshop. She expressed gratitude to the Togolese government for hosting the event and acknowledged the financial support from USAID and the Ford Foundation. Additionally, she thanked ARAA for its organizational assistance.

In her opening remarks, Professor Sarr highlighted the systemic nature of gender-based violence, emphasizing its roots in gender stereotypes and patriarchal structures. She stressed the crucial role of health professionals in recognizing, treating, and supporting GBV survivors, advocating for the deconstruction of gender stereotypes and the promotion of a culture of respect and equality.

Ambassador Barros Bacar BANJAI, ECOWAS Permanent Representative in Togo, welcomed the participants, thanking the EGDC for selecting Lomé as the venue for this significant regional training. He noted that the workshop’s theme aligns with Pillar 5 of the ECOWAS Vision 2050 on Social Inclusion.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the ECOWAS National Office in Togo and the Ford Foundation, reinforcing the importance of the workshop’s objectives.

The workshop aimed to equip health sector actors with a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, causes, effects, and consequences of GBV. It covered the holistic medical and psychosocial care of GBV survivors, from initial admission and health services provision to the closure of medical files and the socio-economic reintegration of survivors into educational or professional life.

This training represents a critical step in enhancing the capacity of health professionals in ECOWAS member states to effectively address and respond to gender-based violence, ultimately fostering a safer and more inclusive society.

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