The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in it’s fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) across the country on Tuesday began a three-day maiden gender summit.
The summit with the themed “Building Sustainable Peace in Africa through Gender Mainstreaming: Prevention and Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV),” is being organised in collaboration with the International Academy for Gender and Peace.
Speaking at the event, NSCDC Gender Unit Head, Chief Superintendent Kemi Alao, said that the summit was aimed at accessing the policy direction of government on gender matters.
“This will thereby open a sustainable dialogue between the corps and other gender based organisations,” she said.
Alao said SGBV had been a global epidemic and most affected were women, girl-child and other vulnerable groups.
“Most violence experienced include rape, forced marriages, sexual harassment, forced abortion, human trafficking, among others.
“Research also shows that 35 per cent of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and sexual violence which is the most common abuses of human rights in their lifetime,” she said.
According to the corps’ gender unit head, NSCDC, alongside other security agencies remains committed to gender empowerment and equality.
NSCDC Commandant General (CG), Ahmed Audi said it was within the scope of the corps to make sure women and children were encouraged to strive and live up to expectations as their male counterparts.
Audi said that the summit would adopt gender mainstreaming as an approach to initiate policies and programmes that would take into account both women and men concerns in SGBV.
He said that at the end of the three-day summit, gender desk officers would to be inducted as associates of the International Academy for Gender and Peace.
The President, International Academy for Gender and Peace, Prof. Tyoor Terhemba, said the organisation was glad to partner NSCDC in building skills and capacities of gender based officers across all commands and other security agencies.
He said that it was imperative to build sustainable partnership as it becomes easier to work on mainstreaming gender equality in the country.
“We must embrace peace to grow, develop and live harmoniously, fill gender gaps and disparities in the manner of conducting activities either individually or at organisational level.
“We must also educate the people to understand the value of peace keeping and bridging gaps for regional, national and international reasons,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Adebiyi Olufunso, said that gender based violence had become a wild fire sweeping across the country.
“GBV phenomenon hold sway where individual, society, household and community poverty has a firm grip on economic activities.
“The patriarchal nature of our cultural norms and values which left women and girls at the receiving end has further worsened the effect of GBV.
“Nigerians and GBV response focused institutions at all levels must be conscious that the world as a global village is now sophisticated with communication technology to watch how countries treat citizens,” he said.
He gave the ministry’s toll free number, 08031230651, through which to report gender based violence. (NAN)