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Experts proffer strategies to curbing gender-based violence

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
28 November 2020   |   4:10 am
Experts have said that curtailing sexual and gender-based violence will require collective effort of diverse stakeholders. They said that both men, influencers and those not directedly involved...

Experts have said that curtailing sexual and gender-based violence will require collective effort of diverse stakeholders. They said that both men, influencers and those not directedly involved, should get on board to curb this menance, as having to tackle it as a girl/women related issue, will not yield results.

This was the thrust at a stakeholders meeting with grassroots women organized by the EU-UN Spotlight initiative in partnership with Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC).

According to the Executive Director, International Press Center, Lanre Arogundade, the first mechanism to curb gender-based violence is involvement of diverse stakeholders, adding that every issue about ending violence against women comes from known quarters. “When you talk about gender issues, people only look in the direction of gender organisations and we are yet to involve other influencers in various sectors.

“It is something that happens everywhere, in the workplace, schools, so why don’t we have academic staff involved in this, businesses and also organisations like the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. This inclusion would help emphasis the situation and help decision makers see the problem and proffer solutions.

We need to imbibe some approaches that would enable legislators’ change their attitudes, aside from having physical dialogue with them. We could leverage on some of their children who are in schools, by making them part of the advocacy.”

While noting that it is important for people to be well educated and informed as communication is vital in this, Arogundade said that we need to build knowledge base among the various sectors, to build a successful coalition; a major foundation would be proper education and understanding of the issues at stake. “We need to use creative channels to carry out these level of education. It would be about the medium and the type of information. Literacy is key to building a successful coalition around issues of violence against women.”

For child’s rights activist and Executive Director Media Concern for Women and Child Initiative, Dr. Princess Olufemi-Kayode, “I don’t think we can end violence against women and girls, but we can reduce it to a minimal level, not with fear or emotions. This should not be woman-led; the men should be a major voice in it.

Men do not understand. They always think it’s a fight, its not, we are talking about developing our nation.

“The campaign to end violence against women and girls is not against the boy child, it is saying that these issues need to be solved so the nation can be developed. Women have a role to play to get the nation to its desired place. You need to know the strength of the two genders. How do you undermine a gender you don’t even know their strength and that becomes more of a problem? It is affecting us in many different cases our health, nation, advancement, development productivity as women it is also affecting the girls because they are going into this same world.”