A school teacher in Adamawa State, Mrs Rhoda Peter has called on communities to establish Gender Based Violence (GBV) clubs in order to create awareness around the topic.
Peter who is a student’s counsellor in Govt Science Technical College (GSTC) Mubi made the appeal during a workshop on GBV organized by Sultan foundation for peace and development with support from spotlight initiative.
“I have seen the benefits of GBV club in our school. It makes the students to be calm and understand the effect of GBV so it is good for other schools to introduce such clubs.
“I encourage community leaders to set clubs in their communities to allow the knowledge to be practiced. It is very important so as to allow the people to know the effect or the causes of GBV and how to control them,” she said.
She expressed sadness over the rampant cases of such violence in communities which called for quick and urgent attention especially in view of the exposure of the students to social media.
“There is a lot of violence around the students due to their background. Some came from the village and some came from the city but they are exposed to TV and social media. The cases are rampant,” she said.
She thanked the Sultan foundation for organizing the workshop and urged them to sustain the tempo of such advocacy for the good of all.
Also speaking, the head boy of the school, John Ezra thanked Sultan foundation for organizing the workshop saying that it has opened their eyes on the nuances and rudiments of SBV, promising to step down the knowledge to his peers.
He noted that with the knowledge he acquired, he will be a dotting husband and parent in the future adding that more of such educative sessions should be organized for students, just as he thanked the foundation for the gift of caps and clothes.
Also speaking, Amina Mohammed Ali, the program assistant of the foundation in Adamawa State noted that the aim of the project is to work with relevant stakeholders including traditional, religious and youth leaders to end the menace which has become rampant over the years.
“We are implementing the spotlight initiative project on ending all forms of violence against women and girls. This is the phase 2 of the project. We implemented the phase 1 last year and we did it on prevention. By that we are talking about the male engagement component where we targeted men who will be champions of women and they will stand against all forms of violence against women and girls.
“In phase 2, we are targeting girls in secondary schools and girls in tertiary institutions. We shall discuss, interact with them and engage with them on gender equitable norms.
“We shall also engage them in discussions about some of the cultural norms that are perpetrated against them leading to the occurrence of gender based violence. So basically this engagement will bring about shift in gender stereotyping with regards to women and young girls,” she said.
She noted that the 250 girls that will be covered will be selected from Yola north and Mubi North local governments of the state.
“We are targeting 250 girls in select secondary schools in Yola north and Mubi North because these are our project locations. Today we are interacting with students of Ladi Atiku Government Girls Secondary School we will be engaging about 50 of the girls we will then move to Government Girls Secondary School Yola and FGGC Yola and then we move to Mubi where we are targeting other schoolgirls during the First quarter,” she added.
She noted that at the end of the project, it is expected that there will be monumental shift in gender stereotyping and other social norms that bar the girl child from achieving her potentials which also exercerbate gender based violence.
“There will be a shift in gender stereotyping or some of the social norms restricting or limiting the girl child from achieving her potentials there by leading to the perpetration of SGBV against her,” she said.
She called on the general public especially parents not to hesitate in reporting any forms of gender based violence noting that the lethargic disposition of communities towards such cases make perpetrators to be emboldened to commit more of such atrocities in the future.
“We have a referral pathway, people should not hesitate to report any case of gender based violence because some of them don’t even know that these things are punishable. If we keep quite nothing will be achieved. The communities should stand up and ensure perpetrators are punished,” she said.