The men of Kango community, Kuje Area Council, Abuja, have agreed to be front liners in ending violence against women.
In a community outreach by the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program, NSRP, and its partners on Wednesday, the men of the community agreed that they would take the lead to end gender-based violence.
NSRP is a five-year British council programme, aimed at supporting Nigerians and local institutions manage conflicts non-violently and reduce the impact of violent conflict on the most vulnerable population.
Addressing the community in Pidgin English, Precious Eriamiato, said it was a crime for a man to have a sex with a woman without her consent, stating that there is no excuse for rape.
She urged the Kango men to also respect the views of the women on contraceptive and protection during sex.
The men agreed to continue advocating respect for women and girls as well as end violence against women in Kango community.
“Men go help us tell their fellow men say, rape no good. Na the men go dey for front now dey talk about these things because, if men dey for front dey talk, other men go fit listen to dem,” Ms. Eriamiato said.
The leader, Women Doctors, Abuja, Stella Etshe, made the people understand good health is the most valuable thing anyone could have. She also stressed the need for a healthy woman in the family.
“A healthy woman keeps the home because, when the woman is healthy, she takes care of her children, husband and even her neighbours,” Ms Etshe said. “We have joined altogether, men women – everybody to make sure the woman is and remain healthy,”
Explaining the many forms of violence, Ms. Etshe also said there was need for a healthy body and sound mind.
She also encouraged the parents in the community to ensure they were lenient while handling issues concerning their children in order to create room for freedom of expression and communication between them.
This way, she said the children would be free to tell them whatever happens around them.
A Kango community woman, Liatu Nuhu, speaking in Gbagi language, warned men who commit such violent acts against women, especially rape to desist from it.
“Men who commit such acts of violence like rape must be careful as it can be set back in girls and women life and education,” Ms. Nuhu said.
The gender advisor, NSRP, Eleanor Nwadinobi, reiterated the need for gender and equality and respect for women and girls. She said a community with respect for its women thrives in peace and such creates room for developments.
“People all over the world, pottery makers, lawyers, doctors, researched and found out that, when a community treats and respects its girls and women that community will score number one. Why is this so? Because, there is no one here not born by a woman,” Ms Nwadinobi said.
Ms Nwadinobi told PREMIUM TIMES, that a dual approach was sought by the partners to reach out to the people at the community level with an understanding of their systems and cultural dissimilarities.
“We got to the realization that we have been doing a lot of work at the policy level, engaging with the ministries doing advocacy mostly at high level,” she said.
“But we thought time has come for us to have that dual approach – reaching out, at the community level – to hear what the grassroots thinking are like and what there system and culture that impacts them.”
Personally, she said she would expect parents to dedicate quality time with their children and help bring them up in a way that there should be mutual and equal respect for each other irrespective of the gender.
“It is in the home that we can break that stereotypical socialization where girls are made to believe that either they are the lesser being or to be less respected or that they must work within define roles or that it’s a man’s world,” she said.