The Executive Director of MAMA Centre, Chioma Kalu is calling for prompt reformation of discriminatory laws and policies against women and the girl child in Nigeria.
She made the disclosure as part of celebrations to mark the International day of Violence against women.
Speaking at a sensitization and advocacy program at Regina Pacis Academy in Garki, she urged students to always speak about their sexual and reproductive right,
She advised all Nigerian girls to believe in themselves, and aspire to be the best in any area of their dreams and vision.
“Whether a boy or a girl, we are all equal, since our brains and body build is the same, As a girl you should not limit yourself through stereotyping, but rather aspire to be the best in life”.
She further added that Gender Based Violence, is an issue that every individuals need to be concerned about.
“Due to the importance of this issue, the United Nations has earmarked a day for the elimination of all forms of Gender Based Violence.
We have seen the need to enlighten young girls in secondary schools to understand, and know how Gender Based Violence operates”.
According to her, in the country, girls are usually differentiated based on their domestic activities and expertise, while that of the boys is based on their muscular strength. which is being explored.
She explained that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gender Based Violence was on the increase.
“This sensitization exercise is to inform young students about GBV , and also on the need to speak to their parents and appropriate authorities, whenever they are passing through this issues. It is essential for them to speak up, irrespective of the personality that is involved”.
The Counsellor of Regina Pacis Academy, Mrs Betty Omang, disclosed that parents
should be concerned about their children’s welfare, and observe their mood whenever there is a change in behaviour.
“Parent and guardians should be interested in every issue of their wards or dependant. They should create time no matter how busy their schedule to observe their children, and their behavioral changes”.
“Most times a child may be avoiding a particular uncle or Aunt, due to some personal.reasons. Parents need to call the child, and enquire what is happening . Such perpetrators must be brought out for punishment, and this will help boost the child’s self confidence and worth.
She further added that GBV is also practiced in some work places, especially organizations that doesn’t believe that women should be given high position.
“In some institutions, females are not allowed to head an organization, especially those of child bearing age.
They are of the opinion that their productivity level will be reduced due to motherly role in the family.”
A student of the school, Tosin Adeyemi, commended MAMA centre, for sensitizing the students on Gender Based Violence.
She said the lessons will forever be part of her life.