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Schoolgirls in Adamawa vow to champion advocacy against GBV

No fewer than 50 schoolgirls of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Yola have pledged to champion advocacy against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.

The girls made the pledge on the sidelines of a one day workshop on Gender and Social Norms for girls in selected schools in Adamawa State.

The project which targets 250 schoolgirls is organized by the Sultan foundation for peace and development in conjunction with spotlight initiative.

Khadija Muhammad Zoaka, a Senior Secondary student of the college said she was positively impacted by the knowledge learnt and vowed to step it down to her classmates, friends and relatives.

“I understand that Gender Based Violence takes place in many ramifications and we were told what constitute such violence.

“For peace, unity and prosperity to prevail in our society, we must purge it against every form of violence. Therefore, I will take the good message to my friends, relatives, classmates and even parents,” she said.

Also speaking, Precious Elijah pledged to take the new message outside the school walls for the betterment of the society.

“I promise to take this message to every nook and cranny so as to give my little contribution to the annihilation of this ugly menace that constitute a major infringement of people’s rights.

“I thank the organizers for this timely intervention which will go a long way in addressing the menace of SGBV,” she said.

Also speaking, another student of the school, Abigail Jerry vowed to carry the crusade against all forms of violence against persons and harmful cultural practices because they serve as impediments towards the realization of personal goals of members of the society.

Appreciating the organizers for involving his school among the beneficiaries of the training, Alhaji A. K Tanimu, the school’s vice principal administration, said the gesture could not have come at a better time.

He noted that in order to catch them young, the school has a GBV club which has been sensitizing the girls on the ills of the menace and how to prevent it.

Tanimu urged the girls to pay attention to details for maximum impact.

Stating the aims and objectives of the training, Amina Mohammed Ali, the program assistant of the foundation in Adamawa State noted that the aim of the project is to work with relevant stakeholders including traditional, religious and youth leaders to end the menace which has become rampant over the years.

“We are implementing the spotlight initiative project on ending all forms of violence against women and girls. This is the phase 2 of the project. We implemented the phase 1 last year and we did it on prevention. By that we are talking about the male engagement component where we targeted men who will be champions of women and they will stand against all forms of violence against women and girls.

“In phase 2, we are targeting girls in secondary schools and girls in tertiary institutions. We shall discuss, interact with them and engage with them on gender equitable norms.

“We shall also engage them in discussions about some of the cultural norms that are perpetrated against them leading to the occurrence of gender based violence. So basically this engagement will bring about shift in gender stereotyping with regards to women and young girls,” she said.

She noted that the 250 girls that will be covered will be selected from Yola north and Mubi North local governments of the state.

“We are targeting 250 girls in select secondary schools in Yola north and Mubi North because these are our project locations. Today we are interacting with students of Ladi Atiku Government Girls Secondary School we will be engaging about 50 of the girls we will then move to Government Girls Secondary School Yola and FGGC Yola and then we move to Mubi where we are targeting other schoolgirls during the First quarter,” she added.

She noted that at the end of the project, it is expected that there will be monumental shift in gender stereotyping and other social norms that bar the girl child from achieving her potentials which also exercerbate gender based violence.

“There will be a shift in gender stereotyping or some of the social norms restricting or limiting the girl child from achieving her potentials there by leading to the perpetration of SGBV against her,” she said.

She called on the general public especially parents not to hesitate in reporting any forms of gender based violence noting that the lethargic disposition of communities towards such cases make perpetrators to be emboldened to commit more of such atrocities in the future.

“We have a referral pathway, people should not hesitate to report any case of gender based violence because some of them don’t even know that these things are punishable. If we keep quite nothing will be achieved. The communities should stand up and ensure perpetrators are punished,” she said.

Also speaking, District Head of Girei, Dr. Ahmad Mustafa thanked the foundation and all its partners for the epoch making drive aimed at curtailing gender based violence in the state.

He noted that it is disturbing to note that in this time and age, people are still perpetrating such odious and nauseating crimes against humanity.

He urged the girls to pay attention to details so as to understand what constitutes gender based violence so that they can guard against being victims of the scourge.

He also expressed optimism that the schoolgirls will have enough armory at their disposal to fight the menace of gender based violence and even take the gauntlet of being at the forefront of the menace in the future.

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