The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) says it will train 400 Community Development Councils (CDCs) leaders on curbing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Speaking at the ”It’s On Us” program, tagged: – “Men Wey Sabi”, on Monday in Ikeja, the Executive Secretary of DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Viviour-Adeniyi said that the 400 CDC leaders would be drawn from the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
Viviour-Adeniyi said that already, 18 local government areas had been reached and two remainings, in the agency’s campaign against SGBV.
She said that there was a need to train the CDC leaders, as they were closer to the community members and would help to point of tackling domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.
“SGBV is not a respecter of class, age, or local government, it is happening across the state, so what we are trying to do is to engage these community leaders in the local government areas on these issues.
“We want to have them as ambassadors, so that where we cannot go, they will be our foot soldiers, helping us spread this zero tolerance for sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
“This is actually a spill off of the” It’s On Us” campaign, where we go to all the local government areas, we have been to 18, and we have two more to go.
“These people are drawn from the CDCs, CDAs, and other different community organizations. So are expecting 400 CDC members from the 20 local government areas of the state.
“Our statutory mandate is to embark on sensitization, enlightenment campaign, and ensure behavioral change mindset of individuals,” the executive secretary said.
She said that the ”Man Wey Sabi” campaign was put together with a view to engaging men proactively on issues that pertain to sexual and gender-based violence, engaging them in promoting positive masculinity.
Viviour-Adeniyi said that men should not use their role or their strength to abuse the other gender, rather, they should protect the female, as a ”man that knows” believed in gender equity.
Speaking on the topic: “Positive Masculinity” (Understanding and Respecting Female Gender), Mr. Kingsley Obom-Egbulem, a Talent Manager, said that it was important to train the men on solutions to SGBV.
Obom-Egbulem said that if men were part of the problem, it was only normal that they became part of the solution.
He said that the men folk needed to be educated, and have some understanding that women should be respected.
“So, you need to have an understanding of how these problems evolved, the kind of socialization that informs the problem, and how we got to where we are.
“So it is important to also know that it is not just a man’s problem. It is a problem that began even while we were boys, so the average boy has been socialized to believe that he is important, or rather he is more important than his female counterparts in the school.
“There are some schools where a girl cannot be a senior prefect. Those are reinforcing some of these gender stereotypes that fuel violence against women,” he said.
On his part, Mr. Kazeem Olaonipekun, a Teenage Career Development Expert said that both the husband and wife had complementary roles to play to ensure that society was rid of sexual and gender-based violence.
Olaonipekun said that both males and females had strengths and weaknesses and these were bound to manifest, so both of them should work on their strengths and weaknesses.
He said that the husband should recognize the strength of the woman and capitalize on it for the betterment of the home.
According to him, being the head of a man does not mean that the man is superior to the woman.