In a bid to curb the menace of Sexual and Gender based violence among public school girls in the state, the First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs Betty Akeredolu who is widely known for her stance against Gender inequality has instructed Counsellors of public secondary schools to establish anti-SGBV Club in their various schools.
In an event which took place at Akoko South West Local Government OKA-AKOKO had a lot of school counsellors in attendance where many shared their experiences on the menace and expressed rediness in eradicating SGBV totally following the completion of the 2 days workshop on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Arabinrin organised for School Counsellors in Akoko South Eest/ Wast between Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st February, 2021.
Addressing the participants, Austin, a representative of BAAF [Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation] explained that Counsellors had pivotal role to play to achieve desired result in the fight against SGBV being the ones saddled with the responsibility of encouraging and motivating students.
According to him, statistics shows that secondary school girls are susceptible to SGBV, but could be motivated by Counsellors to voice out, hence the need to awake the consciousness of the participants with the training.
He also noted that First Ladies in Nigeria had adopted different approaches to fight SGBV in their various states, and that the training of school Counsellors and the launch of Yellow card initiative were parts of the strategies of the First Lady to curb the menace in Ondo.
Austin also stressed the need for victim of rape to report to the Neccesary authorities so the perpetrators of such evil acts can be brought to book, In his words, “If we look at statistics, the victims are mostly young girls of secondary school age, and major problem is the issue of silence; many of them have been violated by different kind of people and they keep quiet because they do not know how to report and who to speak to so it’s very important so this perpetrators can be brought to book and prosecuted accordingly”
Some of the eight objectives of the workshop includes, how to
° Identify early warning signs of abuse among school children
° How to report GBV cases
° Understand ethical issues related to GBV
° Incorporate the Yellow card initiative into schools
° GBV prevention and response efforts
° Understanding the principles of human rights, among others.
The workshop was an interractive one as participants were made to list out their expectations and what they presumed could serve as obstacles for the fight against SGBV.
Participants were divided into groups to test their knowledge about SGBV and they all participated actively in every session.
The participants were taken through terminologies related to SGBV, causes and misconception in Nigeria, Sex and Gender, human rights and its relationship with GBV, and about GBV legislation in Ondo State.
The program was solely sponsored by Hon. Ategbole Bobagunwa of Akoko
See Photos below