Titilayo Ogunbambi, gender equality advocate and Executive Director of the Boundless Hands Africa Initiative, said: Lara Adejoro On the need to end gender-based violence

of The federal government has made several commitments to end discrimination against women and gender-based violence. How do you evaluate your efforts so far?

Women’s Affairs Minister Pauline Tarren recently assured Nigerian women that the president would enforce court rulings that reserved 35% of public office appointments to women’s groups. So far, the president has taken several actions to end gender-based violence and support women’s issues in Nigeria.During the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, the Nigerian Governors Forum , declared a state of emergency over the rising rate of sexual and gender-based violence in the country. The Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs also undertakes appropriate gender mainstreaming, including the harmonization of gender-based violence data, to paint a clear picture for proper planning. The number of states increased significantly and the national gender policy was also reviewed last year. By customizing these laws and states and understanding the rights and roles of local governments, much more can be done. Education is important for all stakeholders. We encourage you to keep gender at the forefront of governments and all government agencies towards ending GBV.

How do you think the VAPP law has worked in Nigeria so far?

There has been some level of progress as some states have acclimated VAPP laws. The road to achieving this progress has been rigorous, involving advocacy, dialogue, consultation and review. Obviously, there have been a lot of setbacks in some states, but obviously it’s the first law, so we’re seeing progress in the law. Prohibit all forms of violence against persons in private and public life, provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims, and punish offenders. However, like many other laws in Nigeria, the VAPP Act faces implementation and funding problems. Some existing laws also contradict this law, such as the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria, which allows husbands to beat their wives. for corrective purposes. Therefore, we need to ensure that other laws are appropriately amended to address the problem of overlapping laws in some states. To make the necessary progress, we need to keep all stakeholders involved. Erosion of cultural beliefs and traditional practices to not only enact laws, but to identify changes from the status quo and demand accountability to ensure implementation by all stakeholders and service providers We need to. Passing laws is not enough. Gaps in VAPP law enforcement are also significant and need to be addressed to see progress in ending gender-based violence and achieving gender equality in Nigeria.

Reports on GBV seem to focus primarily on women rather than men. How did this happen?

If more women than men have GBV, it is natural to see reports of a higher prevalence of females. GBV is a human rights violation and a public health problem that affects both men and women. Statistics show that 1 in 3 of women in the world is a woman and in Nigeria 30% of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been sexually abused. has been reported. Due to societal norms and beliefs about GBV, men and boys typically do not speak out or report their encounters. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain accurate data that can answer numerical questions. This means that more effort and necessary interventions are needed for her GBV in men.

What role does education play in preventing gender-based violence?

Education plays a key role in preventing and reducing gender-based violence. Research shows that women with at least a secondary level of education are less likely to experience violence than women with no education. Moreover, men with at least a secondary education are less likely to commit violence than men with no education. represents one of the main agents of transformation. Education systems need to combine formal and non-formal education with vocational training to address gender inequalities and have the potential to prevent GBV. Education systems need to empower girls to decide when, where, with whom and how they want to define themselves as women, rather than following socially established definitions. But more importantly, educating men to help them internalize biological differences is not enough to think that one (male) gender is superior to the other (female). It means that there is no reason to do so. Therefore, more important than detecting and addressing sexist behavior by women is for boys to learn that being born male inherently does not confer privileges over women.

What has your experience been like as an advocate for gender equality?

Ten years ago, I started this movement to see women who stand against inequality as rebels. Family and friends wondered why gender equality mattered. We knew that societies that valued women and men equally would be safer, healthier, and exhibit more economic growth. Although a difficult process, staying relevant while solving social problems can be both challenging and discouraging. What kept me going was the strength gained through each experience and each life saved from the shadow of GBV. He has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the University of Jos, Nigeria and a Master of Science in International Development and Policy from the University of Chicago, USA. is getting My career has spanned the private sector as a procurement specialist in the oil, gas and telecommunications industries, as well as the public sector. He has also worked at Pathfinder International supporting portfolios in Nigeria and Ethiopia, and interned at the United Nations Global Communications Department. Africa section. My work includes a multi-award winning Girl Child Advocate, the UNWomen Nigeria Beijing +25 Eagle, and being named an Outstanding Young Leader in Sub-Saharan Africa by the U.S. Government. recognized by

The world seems to be moving from a physical GBV to a social media GBV. what do you think about this?

Online gender-based violence includes unwanted sexual remarks, non-consensual posts in sexual media, threats, doxxing, cyberstalking and harassment, and gender-based memes and posts. A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 38% of women feel threatened on their social media, compared to 45% of millennials. In my opinion, both her GBV, physical and her GBV via social media, are still encountered, especially among young girls and young people. This has just been amplified by access. Until now, many people have not had access to as many digital platforms as there are today. The development gave access to smartphones, allowing invaders to develop new forms of emotional intimidation and control. For example, ever since I was a child, there have been bullies in my school and community.

The psychological effects of online violence and abuse are worrisome. What can I do to reduce this?

Education is the most effective strategy for reducing the psychological effects of online violence. Young children are being exposed to internet use, and we need to catch them. It focuses on early childhood knowledge, skills, resilience, teaching internet savvy, and positive life coping skills. Also, people experiencing online violence should seek help through therapy. The culture of seeking therapeutic help is still small in Nigeria. to ask questions in order to

You founded the Boundless Hand Africa Initiative for Women and Children in 2016. How many people were you able to reach out to advance the issue of gender equality?

Over the years, through a variety of interventions, Boundless Hands Africa has worked to promote gender-based awareness by facilitating access to sexual reproductive health information, services, and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual abuse. We have improved the health and well-being of women and girls who are survivors of violence. in underserved communities. We lead these efforts through capacity building, education and awareness programs, partnerships with service providers, and advocacy using technology and media. We have provided psychosocial support and access to justice for her 178 women and girls who are survivors of sexual abuse, implemented more than 28 education and awareness programs, empowerment initiatives, Reached over 25,000 of her people through online and in-person programs.

You published a book on sexual and gender-based violence. what drove you?

Having worked as a gender-based interventions expert for 10 years, I have designed and implemented a variety of interventions focused on GBV prevention and survivor support. In each case, I felt the exact amount of pain felt by the survivors. Every woman or man, regardless of age, color, religion, economic or social status, is at risk of encountering her GBV and must tell the untold story of GBV. did. I wrote Emerge, an educational weapon that teaches women and girls how to break the circle of gender-based violence and create the beautiful future everyone dreams of. My book is a call to action that encourages everyone to be part of the solution.


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