The Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF) says it has raised public awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in 108 institutions of learning in the country.
Mr Adeyemi Asaba, the foundation’s Programmes Lead Education, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday on the sideline of the sensitisation of students of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja).
Asaba explained that the 108 institutions included six universities in which they had established their physical presence.
He listed the institutions to include UniAbuja, Nile University, Veritas University, Lagos State University, Lagos State Polytechnic and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education in Lagos State .
According to him, the project is meant to help in the formulation of policies to strengthen the issues of GBV and expose some of the perpetrators on campuses.
It also aims to provide a level of protection to everyone within the campus environment, not only students but staff and non-staff members of institutions.
“Because of our call, based on the funding organisation, we’re expected to work with six universities on a physical level.
“But as an organisation, we innovatively came up with an idea, an online course – Learning Management System (LMS) that students across the country can participate; one of its kinds in Nigeria.
“We have 108 institutions that have participated in the online programme; we know that Gender-Based Violence is not limited to Lagos and Abuja alone.
“We know it’s a national or international call. That’s why we took our time to scale it up by making it a national project, introducing the online platform.”
The programmes lead disclosed that the foundation had set up a response team in every institution, called “School-Related Gender-Based Violence Response Team”.
“The response team is made up of both students and members of staff and is saddled with responsibilities to replicate the training we have given to them in other parts of the institution.
“We designed the policies on the prevention of Gender-Based Violence in Nigerian tertiary institutions, which we have circulated to 70 tertiary institutions.
“The Document is meant to address these issues beyond students.”
Asaba therefore urged the Federal Government to implement policies that would make both men and women relevant in every facet of life.
Mr Ahmed Mudashir, the Administrative Officer of Students’ Affairs Department, UniAbuja, in a separate interview said the school authority was doing its best to enlighten members of staff and students about GBV.
According to him, the vice-chancellor has zero-tolerance for such acts.
“I can tell you that two professors have been laid off because of this.
“The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’alla, is a no-nonsense man. I think that’s enough signal for everybody to sit tight,” Mudashir said.
Miss Diana Kalu, a student of English Department, UniAbuja, appreciated the organisers for the sensitisation programme.
According to her, through the programme, she is now able to differentiate between gender and sex.(NAN)