The Initiative for Women and Girls Right Advancement (IWOGRA) has called on men to support and champion the fight against all forms of Gender Base Violence (GBV).
Speaking at a webinar organised to reintegrate the importance of men’s involvement in the fight against all forms of violence against women, founder of IWOGRA, Nkechi Obiagbaoso-Udegbunam, said the cause will be half won if men can rise to champion the cause in the society.
At the webinar themed The Role of Men in Ending Rape Culture, with an all-men panelists to proffer strategies for addressing the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls organisations were charged to include more men while carrying out SGBV campaigns.
Panelists at the webinar believes men and boys can become allies in the fight against rape culture and bringing the concerns of women and girls to the front burner of interventions being made to end rape. There is need for the men to contribute to the development of the society by championing the campaign against sexual violence. Panelists also said men can play a positive role in preventing men’s violence against women and indeed, without men’s involvement, efforts to reduce and prevent violence against women will be achieved half way.
While many in the past justified rape, this was rebutted by Fidelis Ogbobe, Lawyer and Security Expert when he stated unequivocally that “Rape cannot be justified. The only thing that causes rape is the rapist himself. The issue of victim blaming to show that women/girls are the causes of what happened to them and are instrument of their violation cannot be justified in any sense of logic. To a large extent, the law enforcement agent is supposed to be blamed for their inability to appreciate that whoever rapes a woman/girl rapes our nation.”
“We strongly believe that rape will become a thing of the past if men play active roles to ensure that our women/girls are being protected; speak out against rape culture; stop seeing women as a sexual instrument, stop victim blaming; train their boys to understand that ‘a woman’s no means no and such decision should be respected at all times; are informed that their strength is not for physical aggression against women but to be used to protect women. We further call on all concern to. engage with traditional rulers at the grassroots, sensitize them on the laws against sexual violence and their punishments” Obiagbaoso-Udegbunam said.
She further made a passionate appeal to leaders that are yet to domesticate Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act and Child Rights Act as their failure to domesticate these laws indirectly encourages rape culture.
IWOGRA is a non-governmental, non-profit women and girls’ right organization that works towards the promotion and protection of human rights, equity and social justice in Nigeria.