BY Victoria Ogunrinde
The YouthHub Africa on Tuesday reiterated their commitment to combating sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) against women and girls in Nigeria as this is in line with the United Nations supported Spotlight Initiative.
Speaking in Abuja at the Men’s Summit to ending sexual and gender based violence against women and girls, the Programme Manager YouthHub Africa, Mr Olusegun Medupin stated the organization’s willingness to combating SGBV thus, a week long program tagged “Men’s Solidarity week” has been planned for this purpose.
Meanwhile Medupin noted that the Men’s Summit which is one of the lined-up activity for the Men’s Solidarity Week for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, is also to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health.
“YouthHub Africa have set aside a full week tagged the Men’s Solidarity week loaded with programs such as Media engagement, Hiking for gender equality, so as to mobilise men in the community to collectively speak against and work together to end all forms of violence against women and girls and also support their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
“We are working with the Men champions, young men network on the UN issue supported spotlight, the part that is called Men engagement which to create a platform to engage men in order to work together to stop violence aganist women and girls in their communities and in our society at large,” he added.
However, Medupin tasked the Federal government on the need to empower and revitalise gender based desk officers in the military and paramilitary agencies as this will be a tool to curbing the high rate of SGBV.
“The Federal Government have been doing their bits but they can still do more in terms of taking up cases and speeding up justice system.
“The law enforcement also has to be strengthened most especially gender based desk officers in the military and paramilitary agencies. Their capacity has to develop in such a way they can easily take up cases as most of them are face with challenges of not having the resources to work. So these are areas where the Federal Government should revitalize,” Medupin added.
Also in his remarks, the Associate Professor, Department of Public Law University of Abuja, Dr. Olanrenwaju Aladeitan stated that “the long standing failure of men to protect and promote women’s right and freedom is therefore a matter of concern that has to be addressed.”
While speaking on the theme: “Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, How it Concerns Men and why we must stand with them” Dr. Aladeitan said we must be prepared to purge ourselves of our patriarchal construct and socialization and also be ready to free ourselves from the obnoxious norms and belief that has influenced us to act inimically against women in our societies today.
Furthermore, Dr. Aladeitan urged stakeholders to support and give women the power within, the power to do, the power with and the power over to enable them articulate their own aspirations and strategies for change.
The YouthHub Africa summit provided a platform to educate men and get the buy-in of men from different level of leadership in Nigeria on ending GBV/VAWG/HP against women.