By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – A non governmental organisation, NGO, the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprise, ENGINE, program has concluded arrangements to organise a 1,000 men walk aimed to raise awareness and drive to end violence against women and girls.
The ENGINE, while unveiling the campaign tagged, “Walk of a 1000 Men” at a news briefing in Abuja, as parts of activities to commemorate the International Day for elimination of violence against women and girls, said the campaign will have multiplier effect when led by men.
The event is an initiative of Mercy Corps, UK Department for International Development, DFID, funded Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprise, ENGINE, program, Habiba Dangana , HADIS, Foundation, the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, NWTF, and Women of Glory, WOG, Foundation.
The men and boys to participate in the walk coming up next week Thursday are expected to converge at the Millennium Park where the walk will commence with routes through to the Federal Secretariat and back to the Millennium Park.
In her address, the Chairperson of ENGINE, Mrs. Amina Salihu said that the essence of involving the men and boys in he campaign was to ensure the men should to be the one speaking against the violence against women and girls.
Mrs. Salihu, who noted that one in three women still experience physical or sexual violence, said “We need to address the poverty of value.”
According to her, “There is a need to address the root cause of gender based violence that result in physical, sexual, psychological, verbal harm or suffering to women and girls. These include domestic violence, forced sterilization; female genital mutilation; sexual harassment in schools and at work; sexual abuse, trafficking, slavery, forced prostitution and rape of women and girls.”
She explained further that, “The walk of a 1000 men is a platform to raise awareness and drive the willingness to take actionto end violence against women and girls. We believe that when men lead this campaign, it will have a multiplier effect of building a movement tat will drive this action.
The walk according to her, “Was initiated to increase knowledge of existing rights of women and girls among targeted population of men and boys, to create an enabling environment for peaceful family life through media campaigns.
Salihu said the walk was also meant to increase linkages to violence prevention, mitigation, platform and services as well as support system for women and girls undergoing abusive relationship.
She said, “Men all over Abuja are invited to join the walk and help spread behavioural change messages that promote safety for women and girls in their homes and communities.
“The walk will start from the Millennium Park, whare participants will be sensitized and briefed on the objectives of the campaign and made to sign a commitment to protect women in their lives and communities.”