NGO mobilises Kadpoly students, lecturers to end violence against women, girls
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI) on Saturday mobilised students and lecturers of Kaduna Polytechnic to end violence against women and girls in the polytechnic community.
The NGO enlisted their support during a campaign to end sexual harassment and abuse on public spaces, as part of activities to commemorate the 2022 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The 16 Days of Activism is an annual campaign that begins on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs through International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
The theme for 2022 is “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.
Ms Jelilat Abidoye, Technical Advisor, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, EWEI, said during the campaign at the Kaduna Polytechnic Main Campus, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, that the campaign was under the ‘We for Them’ project.
Abidoye said the project, supported by the Africa Women’s Development Funds, was designed to end sexual harassment and abuse in public places.
She added that EWEI is implementing the project in collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Kaduna Polytechnic Chapter, as influencers of change.
She explained that the event was organised to open spaces for conversations around issues of sexual and GBV and provide opportunities to find sustainable solutions to GBV within the polytechnic community and the state.
According to her, violence against women and girls remains the most pervasive human rights violation around the world.
“As the 16 Days of Activism comes to an end, we are encouraging everyone to get involved from amplifying the voices of survivors and activists to supporting women’s organizations and strengthening feminist movements.
“We can all act to empower survivors, reduce and prevent violence against women and girls, and protect women’s rights, and wholesomely end sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces.”
She noted that despite these discouraging trends, there were more proof than ever, that violence against women and girls is preventable.
In a keynote address, Mrs Bukola Ajao, a legal practitioner, stressed the need for all victims of sexual violence, particularly men and boys, to join women and girls in reporting cases of abuse to relevant authorities.
Prof. Hauwa’u Yusuf, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Kaduna State University, stressed the need for the liberation of both men, women and adolescent boys and girls that were being violated.
Yusuf, a panelist on “Unite Campaign to end Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Public Spaces”, advised men and women to break the culture of silence and report cases of sexual harassment and abuse.
Another panelist, Abubakar Rabiu, President, Student Union Government, noted that the rate of sexual harassment in higher institution was disturbing and deserved a collective response to the menace.
Rabiu expressed concern that while it was good to report cases of harassment and abuse, students were afraid of victimization by the lecturers.
Also, Mr Yunusa Ibrahim of the Accounting Department, during the panel discussion, thanked EWEI for organizing the event, which he said would go a long way in addressing the problem in the school.
“ASUP is against gender-based violence and has put punitive measures in place to check against the trend among its members,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other highlights of the event was the unveiling of the winners of EWEI Art Exhibition Challenge on GBV and a raffle draw.