By Ebunoluwa Sessou
With the mindset of catching them young and creating awareness on cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV, the Women’s Rights and Health Project, WRAHP, a non-governmental organisation last week trained over 400 secondary school students as champions in their schools and communities.
With the support of Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, RoLAC and assistance by the British Council, the organisation held the training in batches across secondary schools in Lagos State between Tuesday, March 23 and 26, 2021. It was a workshop on increasing access to protection from sexual and gender-based violence, among secondary school students in Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State.
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The organisation which has previously trained adults disclosed that the decision to have the workshop for young people was borne out of the desire to catch them young, so they can serve as ambassadors in their various schools and communities.
Mrs Bose Ironsi, Executive Director, WRAHP, who was represented by Eniola Ibukunoluwa, Case Management Officer, Ireti Resource Centre, stated that socio-cultural norms against women which Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV is inclusive, need to be challenged.
“The essence of the training is for students to know their rights and what the law says. They need to understand that gender is different from sex. They need to understand the different forms of violence against women and girls.
“It is an avenue to educate the students, refresh their minds, reset their brains, relearn and unlearn some things that they have been taught.”
She, however, stressed that organising the training was important to highlight the plight of women in the area of abuse.
Philip Joseph, a 14-year-old student in SSS 2, noted that from the training, he now believes that everyone has the right to choose.
Ojeleye Oyinkasola, a 15-year-old student in SSS 3 challenges all stereotypes against the female gender saying it must be removed.
Stephen Olawale, 14-year- old student in SSS 2 said: “I will love to see the world supporting women in politics and taking their place in positions of authority.