Mrs Agyare-Kwabi (6th from right), Director of WYPSI; Sa Majeste' Daagbo (5th from right) and Myriam Capo-Chichi (4th from right) with the participants after the programme
Mrs Agyare-Kwabi (6th from right), Director of WYPSI; Sa Majeste' Daagbo (5th from right) and Myriam Capo-Chichi (4th from right) with the participants after the programme

KAIPTC, Sweden build capacity on gender-based violence in Benin

A five-day training to equip local actors in West and Central Africa with the skills to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has been held in Cotonou, Benin. 


The programme was organised by the Women, Youth, Peace and Security Institute of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) with funding from the Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA).

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

The programme, dubbed, Enhancing the Capacity of Local Actors to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Benin, aligns with the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).

It sought to equip facilitators who act as key figures in resolving Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to GBV, while also raising awareness within local communities and among leaders to combat GBV.

Role of local actors

The training explored the existing legal frameworks such as 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.

Officials of the KAIPTC say the training recognises the growing understanding of the links among poverty, insecurity and GBV, particularly in the context of limited capacity of local actors and low prosecution rates in many communities across the sub-region.

Strong advocacy

Speaking at the opening of the training, the Director of the Women's Youth Peace and Security Institute (WYPSI) of KAIPTC, Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi emphasised the importance of building the capacity of local actors and its importance to the reduction of GBV.

She noted that in empowering individuals and communities, KAIPTC aims to foster stronger advocacy and education efforts to combat GBV. “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.


The President of the National Platform on Religious Affairs, Sa Majeste’ Dada Daagbo, in his remarks, commended KAIPTC for the initiative. Gender-based violence, he said, in most communities often went unreported owing to the fear of victimisation of the victims.

The workshop, he said, had allowed them to deepen their knowledge of preventing GBV in their communities. Sa Majeste’ Daagbo, who is one of the most important figures in the Voodoo religion in West Africa, also highlighted the need for awareness creation of the subject, saying “I wish 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 to help with sustained awareness.”

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

She emphasised that the training's effectiveness will depend on the efforts and contributions of local actors committed to eradicating this scourge. She expressed hope that the knowledge gained from the training would significantly improve the situation.

Ms Capo-Chichi also recommended that KAIPTC and the WYPSI hold more such sessions to reach a wider audience and contribute more effectively to the eradication of GBV.

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