How men can help end violence against women, girls in Nigeria - Former commissioner

How men can help end violence against women, girls in Nigeria - Former commissioner

- Men have been encouraged to get involved in the campaign against to end gender-based violence in Nigeria

- A former commissioner of communications in Sokoto state said since the World Women Conference in Beijing in 1985, sufficient actions are yet to be taken to curb the challenges women around the globe face

- Danladi Bako said, for the campaign against violence on women and girls to achieve its aim, men across the globe must be wholly carried along

A former commissioner of communications for Sokoto state, Danladi Bako, has said that men across the country can effectively help in the campaign to end sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria and across the globe.

Speaking in Kano at a media dialogue to end violence against women and girls in Nigeria Bako said since the World Women Conference in Beijing in 1985, sufficient actions are yet to be taken to curb the challenges women around the globe face.

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The dialogue was organised by the European Union and the United Nations Spotlight Initiative, a multi-year, large scale investment in Africa focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

The spotlight initiative in Nigeria is aimed at supporting Nigeria's vulnerable women and girls and helping them live a life free from violence and harmful practices as well as address the links between sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices with related aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights as a cross-cutting theme.

Further speaking, Bako said for the campaign against violence on women and girls to achieve its aim, men across the globe must be wholly carried along.

"In 1985, whole lots of planes went to Beijing for women conference. Over 20 years later, nothing has changed. If you get the men involved, action will be taken, things will change," Bako said.

He said there has to be some form of strategic communication plan which would ensure that men are persuaded and involved in the fight against women and girls.

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"For the campaign against violence to achieve its aim, it has to carry the men along. There has to be a communication strategic plan to get the men persuaded and involved in the fight against violence. It’s a behavioural change and mentality communication strategy," the former commissioner said.

Addressing more barriers faced in the fight against gender imbalance and violence, Bako noted that women must be encouraged to speak up in times of challenges and when they are abused.

According to him, the culture of silence which has become the order of the day has to be abolished by families members across Nigeria.

"On the day of your wedding, People tell you not to discuss your marriage with people. So when the guy becomes the problem, you cannot discuss it with anyone. When you complain to your parents, try to chase you back to your husband," Bako said.

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He also called for stronger political will with appropriate inclusion of women and adequate support for the women and girls.

How men can help end violence against women, girls in Nigeria - Former commissioner

Danladi Bako said for the campaign against violence on women and girls to achieve its aim, men across the globe must be wholly carried along
Source: UGC

"Government is run by men. Women are not involved. Even when there is a ministry of women affairs, it’s just to keep women quiet," Bako added.

He urged the Nigerian government to pay attention to the EU, UN initiative with a view of pushing for actual delivery and implementation of workable policies across the country.

Bako said: "We don’t belong to the 16th century anymore, we are going to wait for people to make laws for us and implement those laws. They have given us advice and strategies on how to improve the quality of life of people. It’s embarrassing that the world is developing and we are here beating our wives."

"That is the level we are and it’s a scandal. The spotlight initiative is giving us the road map, we should just adopt the roadmap and work with it.

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The government should follow the recommendations of the EU. And these recommendations include the role of government, political will, the role of the individual, the family and how we train our people," he noted.

Also speaking, the coordinator of the EU, UN Spotlight Initiative, Hadiza Aminu, said 43 per cent of girls were married before the age of 18 and 17 per cent married before 15-years.

Aminu also said according to the National Demographic Health Survey of 2013, 20,000 new cases of obstetric fistula occurred every year.

She said the initiative which will be piloted in five states - Adamawa, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Sokoto and Lagos as well as the Federal Capital Territory - will address the need to have the right people and platforms to discuss social norms which will reduce violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls.

Stating that Nigeria's biggest challenge is the lack of data, Aminu said the right structures in states and proper training could lead to the generation of the much-needed data.

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According to her, the UN and the EU The UN to spend $10 million every year for the next four years to end all forms of violence against women and girls in Nigeria.

Aminu also said that the EU and UN would ensure that states had family courts which would focus on handling cases of violence perpetrated against women and girls.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a civil society organisation had urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to promote strong legislatures that would help promote the rights of women across Nigeria.

The SING Nigeria while commemorating with the 2019 United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women said the world has made steady advancements towards eliminating the scourge and associated crimes against women.

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