By Ikenna Osuoha
Sexual Offenses and Assault Response Initiative (SOAR) says gender, socio-cultural norms and practices that entrench patriarchy fuel Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.
Mrs Chinyere Eyoh, Founder and Executive Director of the Initiative, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Eyoh said that a system where domination of women was culturally normal was one of the greatest factors that trigger sexual and gender-based violence
“A system where men dominate women and are seen to own and rule over women and girls who are perceived to be created to serve men.
“Violence against women and girls by men and boys in such cultures as this which is also prevalent in Nigeria to many is normal,” she said.
The SOAR boss who decried the manner rape and other forms of violence against women was trivialised culturally, said it had objectified women and girls as sex toys.
According to her, unfortunately, boys or males are brought up with this patriarchal mentality of entitlement over women which leads to continued violence against women and girls.
Eyoh said the culture of patriarchy had promoted not just sexual abuse but subjected women and girls to economic disadvantage, denying them positions of authority seen as exclusive reserve for men.
She said: “This power differential is another reason that leads to victimisation as sometimes this is used to blackmail, harass and violate.
“This includes when the person is in position where the victim has to depend on them where the abuser is physically, mentally or financially superior or a notable person in the society.”
The executive director explained that abuse could also occur when the abuser perceive the victim as vulnerable.
“For example, if the abuser understands that the victim is from a broken home or lacks self esteem, especially children living with disability.” (NAN)