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NGO seeks media action to end gender based violence

A non-governmental organisation known as Girls’ Power Initiative, GPI, has called on the media to join in the campaign to end all forms of Gender Based violence in schools.
The Coordinator of the Calabar centre of GPI, Mrs. Comfort Ikpeme made the call at a roundtable for some journalists on a 16-day activities for the campaign to end violence against women.
Ikpeme, who spoke on the theme “Together we can end gender based violence in education” decried the rate at which children, particularly girls, suffer violence in educational institutions.
She listed gender-based violence to include verbal abuse, bullying, harassment, rape, physical and sexual assault, lecturers demanding for sex to award marks, asking for virginity test for girls before certificates are collected, early marriage, and many more.
Ikpeme lamented that “in most societies in the world, Nigeria inclusive, girls and women are expected to sacrifice their vision, goals and educational opportunities and take on responsibilities in the interest of their families even when such responsibilities violate their rights or are injurious to their health, development and contributions to national growth.”
“Gender based crime thrived in schools perhaps because we lacked the mechanism in school to tackle menaces of such nature. I charged you all to take action in stopping gender based violence against the girl child be it in school or at home”,said Ikpeme.
Policy Implementation
The GPI coordinator further urged government at all levels to without delay implement existing laws and policies to prevent and prosecute perpetrators of violence against girls in schools.
According to her, “it is only when such laws are given full implementation and offenders prosecuted that those with the intention to abuse and violate children would desist from the act”.
She described as unfortunate the non-implementation of the child’s right acts and others, which seeks to protect vulnerable children in schools and women on our campuses.
“We don’t have policies in place to protect women against violence, so the men take advantage. However, we at GPI had met with the leadership of the Cross River State House of Assembly and line ministries on the way forward”, said Ikpeme.
She advised parents to shun all form of abuse including verbal, on their daughters noting that the poor attitude of some parents against their female children was capable of dampening the morale of such girl child.
The GPI boss urged academic planners to develop programs and policies for effective gender based violence prevention that encourage safety and healthy educational environment for students.


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