By Priscilla Osaje
The Cooperation Attache, French Embassy in Nigeria, Regis Ketty, has urged Nigerians to play a collective role in combating and eradicating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Ketty gave the advice on Tuesday, at the School Sensitisation Outreach to L.E.A Primary School, Jabi Kpadna, Abuja
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme titled “Uniting Boys/Men to Invest Against Gender-Based Violence”, was organised by the FAME Foundation in collaboration with the French Embassy.
Ketty said that School-based gender-based violence (SGBV) referred to any act or threat of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools.
According to her, this violence affects girls and boys. We must leave no one behind and everyone has a role to play in this work of eradicating GBV.
“It affects millions of children, families and communities in every country and transcends cultural, geographic and economic differences in societies.
“In Nigeria, 44 per cent of girls have experienced one or more forms of physical and sexual violence perpetrated by teachers and/or classmates.
“This violence has considerable consequences on the physical, mental, sexual and emotional well-being of the child. Sexual harassment in schools can harm students educational opportunities.
“The French Embassy is proud to support FAME Foundation in this project but also other NGOs across the country, particularly in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and North East States (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa),” cooperation attaché said.
She added that the initiative was part of a broader campaign supported by French diplomacy to support the fight against gender-based violence.
“France has led sustained action at the European and international levels and calls on all States to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
“States should also ratify the Convention on Istanbul of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women,” she said.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of FAME Foundation, Mrs Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, said that the event was organised to engage and empower boys and men in the fight against GBV through awareness and campaign during 2023 annual edition of the 16 Days of Activism.
According to her, it also aims to educate boys on the consequences, its repercussions, by providing a safe space for open discussion and empower them to become change agents.
Also speaking, Mr Mustapha Mubdiyu, a resource person, identified bullying, touching boy’s private part and threat to life as human rights violation.
According to him, these can be prevented when boys and men speak out by reporting abusive matters to either their parents, guardians or authorities in schools, churches and mosques.
Speaking on behalf of students, Joseph Ebube commended the organisers of the programme, saying that the programme would go a long way in making them stay safe and beware of Gender-Based Violence. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deji Abdulwahab