In a bid to raise male champions to join the campaign for eradication of Gender-Based-Violence (GBV), 50 students have been trained as peer educators in selected secondary schools in Ogun State.
Delivering a keynote address at the 2-day training for the students in Abeokuta, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmilayo Efuwape, said the initiative was to build the capacity of the male champions against Rape, Sexual/Domestic Violence, as well as ensure their personality development.
Efuwape, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Melutia Ogunremi, noted that the programme which is in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was essential for the male child to have adequate knowledge of Gender-Based-Violence and other related sexual abuse since most of the perpetrators were male.
“Upbringing, as well as cultural beliefs about male superiority to the female gender, remains a major cause of abuse, hence the need to raise male champions who will support the campaign
against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in secondary schools and communities”, the Commissioner stated.
In her welcome address, the Director of Women Empowerment Services, Mrs. Wonuola Kassim said a lot of attention had been placed on the girl child over years on eradication of GBV because girls were more vulnerable to all forms of violence than the boys.
Mrs. Kassim encouraged the male gender to protect themselves and their communities from all forms of violence, adding that it is important to organise proper training for them not to end up being perpetrators but to serve as role models to their generation.
On his part, the representative of UNFPA, Mr. Samuel Abimbade, while making a presentation on the body components of a male child, said development and stages of growth start from puberty to adolescence and adulthood.
Abimbade noted that a male child should ensure nothing affects their self-esteem, adding that body image could be influenced by many factors including the media, personal feelings about puberty, as well as a social attitude about disabilities.
In their responses, some of the participants, Ismail Matanmi, and Sulaimon Abideen of Anglican High School and Egba High School, Asero both in Abeokuta appreciated the organisers for the laudable initiative, promising to pass the message to others in their various schools.