Sex education relevant in eliminating gender-based violence

Experts have identified sex education as germane in the elimination of the various forms of gender-based violence in Nigeria.

The duo of Dr Emmanuel Adebayo and Dr Oluwaseun Adewunmi spoke on the EduCeleb Education Discourse on its relevance earlier this week. recalls that there have been increasing reported cases of gender-based violence in the heat of the Coronavirus pandemic drawing concerns on the way forward.

On 27th May, a first year student at the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa was raped and murdered in a church where she had gone to read. A few days after, Nigerians woke up to another horrendous rape and murder of Barakat Bello, a student at the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology in Ibadan.

Dr Adebayo who is a research fellow in adolescent health at the University of Ibadan noted that such acts of violence are not entirely new but education has changed the perspectives about such.

In his words, “It is not like we are having a higher rate of rape these days. It is not as if we are having a higher rate of gender-based violence. It is just that we are becoming more aware of the fact that this is bad.”

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“Thanks to education. Because we are becoming more aware, we are beginning to speak out more.”

Earlier, Adewunmi categorised gender-based violence into physical, sexual and emotional violence.

He noted that such acts were linked to harmful cultural and religious practices to in the country.

He identified men as major perpetrators of gender-based violence especially through power play.

He said, “We express ourselves through violence at times. Through power-play, we want to show that we are strong and more intelligent. So, the only way we can express this is through violence”.

Cultural practices in forms of sexual manipulation emanating from forced marriages are also linked to such.

He also linked the sexually charged society to the spate of sexual assaults and rape.

The medic with the Stand to End Rape Initiative believes addressing the entertainment and media contents that young children see would be vital in eliminating gender-based violence.

The duo advocated for the orientation of parents on sex education as that task cannot be left alone for teachers and other persons. They said that contrary to the popularly held belief that sex education may increase promiscuity in children, it actually prevents such.

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Issues of age-appropriateness in such teaching sex education as well as ensuring the credibility of claims of sex-based violence were also discussed.

They also talked about creating an enabling environment for victims to speak up and providing necessary support systems for them as they do so.

It was held that not doing so may continue to create a viscous cycle for such persons to be also perpetrators of gender-based violence in the future.

They believe that the implementation of Nigerian laws such as the Violence Against Persons Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 would help abate the spate of such crimes and get justice for victims. reports that the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education curriculum is known as the Family Life and HIV curriculum. Its emphasis is on abstinence from sexual acts and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.

Watch the full video of the broadcast below.

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