By Angela Atabo
The National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Pyrates Confraternity ,a Civil Society Organisation has called for enlightenment campaigns on gender equality in the country towards eliminating gender based violence.
Mr Victor Ofili, Capoon of Sahara Deck of NAS, said this at a webinar titled “She is Human: Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls” organised by NAS.
According to Ofili the webinar was organised with participants from different parts of the world in an effort to seek ways to eliminate gender based violence.
“The webinar was put together to see how we can contribute in our own little way to if not eliminate gender based violence but will go a long way in stopping some of these practices .
“There is need to stop women from going through all these violence and educate the men folks, our brothers and friends who put women through all these forms of violence,’’ he said.
Mrs Jacinta Ike, Gender Specialist Desk Officer, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Team said gender based violence was a global pandemic adding that every day in Nigeria there were news about it.
Ike said that one in every three women had experienced a form of violence, hence the need to work on curbing it culturally.
“I am glad that NAS is joining hands with us to campaign against gender based violence because it needs a collective approach.
“Creating awareness, campaigning in communities to create safe spaces for all is key because we are all change agents so we must change the gender roles in our families and communities.
“This can be done by changing the traditional way that inflicts injustice on women and girls.
“There is need to form clubs for boys and girls to be able to speak out when abused and talk to traditional and religious leaders to create ways for them to know what to do eliminate gender based violence,’’ he said.
Ike said that the measure had become imperative because gender based violence existed in schools, places of worship, work places among others.
Ms Ibinabo Dikibo, a gender based violence survivor who shared her experience said that there was need to sensitise the judiciary and police in the fight against gender based violence.
Dikibo said that this was because they usually frustrate the process by insisting that it was a family issue therefore women should go home and sort it out.
This ,she said further exposed women to danger as most of them end up being killed in the process or suffer more harm.
She stressed the need to also sensitise families, communities and even women among others, on gender based violence so as to avoid stigmatising women and girls who have been either divorced or abused.
Mr Essay Folami, NAS Secondmate, said that NAS was a confraternity that held dear to its heart issues pertaining to justice in the society.
Folami said that although NAS was a male dominated organisation, it was concerned about women and the need to end the impunity of gender based violence starting from homes.
He said that the programme was organised in commemoration of the 16 days activism against gender based violence to lend a voice.
“In NAS it is not just talking but walking the talk because if we do not walk the talk nothing gets done.
“We will come up with campaigns against impunity of gender based violence because we want all to look inward and give priority to girls,’’ he said.
Folami said that gender based violence usually occur because men felt their gender was superior and this had to change, adding that NAS was ready to collaborate with other stakeholders to promote justice for women.
Earlier, Mr Chinedu Emezie , Capoon of Konemara Deck, NAS, encouraged participants not to end the conversation on gender violence after the webinar but it should be in their everyday conversation with people.
Emezie said that this was because the reality was that gender based violence cut across all in the society irrespective of social class or race.
He added that rape, wife beating, acid attacks, corporal punishment, trafficking, female genital mutilation, mental, physical, emotional violence among others were all forms of gender based violence.