The programme assistant of Sultan foundation for peace and development in Adamawa State, Amina Ali, has disclosed that young children need to understand the imperatives of gender and social norms that usually result in Gender Based Violence (GBV) in order to prevent them from being victims or perpetrators of the scourge in the future.
She therefore called on survivors of GBV to report any form of violence meted to them to the nearest law enforcement agencies devoid of fear of stigmatisation.
Ali made the call at a one day sensitization workshop on Gender and Social Norms for boys in selected secondary schools in Adamawa State supported by the spotlight initiative.
Ali said the theme of the workshop “challenges on Gender Based Violence” is aimed at reducing if not eradicating the traditional norms that impedes negativity in the lives of youths in the community.
According to her, “traditional and cultural norms greatly influenced the life of our youths and the society in general.
She lamented that, “with the influence of these norms in the lives of the people, coupled with the already established ways of doing things, it becomes extremely imperative to change some of the narratives due to certain beliefs, fear and stigmatisation.
She noted that the fear that nothing will happen and the belief that survivors may not even have access to justice after reporting make some of the survivors to maintain silence, believing that it will pass over time.
She believes that the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in conjunction with Spotlight Initiative is poised to break that the age long jinx so as to enable survivors to speak out and exposed the ugly practice.
“Our main concern now is to get audience from students in secondary schools because they are vulnerable population that are the target and perpetrators, saying sometimes they claim to be ignorance of the consequences, therefore it is important to build a bridge to prevent GBV”, the Programme Assistant added.
She applauded the efforts of traditional and religious leaders who did not relent in sensitizing the people about the danger associated with these traditional norms.
A student from Damilu Government Secondary School, Wesley Elias who spoke on behalf of others appreciated the organizers of the programme, saying sensitization workshop will go a long way to ensuring that the youths do not destroy their future before adulthood.