Rep to Nigerian men: Work as vanguards against gender-based violence
Vice Chairman, House Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Hon. Zainab Gimba, has said men can act as influential agents and contribute to preventing gender-based violence against women.
Hon Zainab stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the National Consultation on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, organised by the Centre for Family Health Initiative (CHFI) in collaboration with the Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) Nigeria and International Network To End Violence Against Women and Girls (INEVAWG).
According to her, the involvement of men and boys in the prevention of gender-based violence against women can take many forms, including serving as role models, agents of change and advocates for equality between women and men and mutual respect.
She said men can act as influential agents of change at different levels, for example as: husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, sons promoting more equitable relationships in the home.
She also proffered that with the education sector can systematically educate young people from an early age can prevent gender based violence against women by effectively challenging rigid concepts of masculinity and negative gender stereotypes that go on to form attitudes that accept and normalize gender-based violence against women, and promoting relationships based on equality and respect.
Also, the Executive Director of Centre for Family Health Initiative (CHFI) Krystal Anyanwu said the Initiative is at the fore front of fighting GBV against women as they have taken up several cases .
She complained that most victims and their families don’t voice out and those who do, withdraw from the cases particularly when the initiative gets to a certain stage just to assist.
She said some of the violators withdraw because of the fear of being threatened. “You find out that when you pick up a case, the family of the abused child will tell you they are no longer interested; that they will prefer to settle out of court because they claim is a family issue.
“Violating someone’s right is not a family matter, people need to speak up, families need to fight against it,” she said.
Also, Head of Programmes, Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), Ndodeye Bassey-Obongha said the national consultation is to push forward conversations and to get more voices to be part of the process towards ending violence against women and girls, reducing levels of impunity and ensuring state accountability.