From L-R; Director of Centre for Gender Based Violence, University of Calabar, Dr Brenda Akpan, Programs Manager, Women At Risk International Founder, Mr Adeyemi Asaba, Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Professor Florence Obi, Program Specialist, United Nations Women, Mrs Tosin Akibu, Finance Associate, United Nations Women, Mrs Ekaete Akpan, and others, during the United Nations Women visit to the Vice Chancellor in her office in Calabar

By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR

Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, weekend revealed that the institution was set to domestic the revised National Gender Policy to promote gender equality in the institution.

Prof. Obi  made the revelation when the United Nations Women paid her a courtesy call. 

Vanguard learned that the Federal Government approved the Revised National Gender Policy in March 2022.

The policy represents a set of minimum standards expected of the Nigerian government to meet its mandate for gender equality, good governance, accountability, and being socially responsive to the needs of its vulnerable group.

The VC explained to  UN women that the draft policy was before the senate of the university for deliberation and approval before the commencement of the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

She expressed hope that as soon the strike was suspended, the senate will approve the policy for domestication in the institution.

She told the UN Women that the university was keen on having a robust gender programme, hence the creation of a directorate on Gender Development in the institution.

Her words :” University education doesn’t end with the certificate alone, but the ability to mound the character of the students and equipping them with certain qualities that can stand them out.

“As a university, we are set to domesticate the revised National Gender Policy to help us strengthen our directorate of gender development.

“The draft policy is currently before the senate of the institution and I am sure that once ASUU suspend its strike, we will approve and domesticate the policy.

“For us as a university, we know what we want for our students. We should be able to mould our students in character, mentally and psychologically.

“We have also come up with a disability policy to see that everyone is carried alone. Most disabled people have the ability and capacity to contribute their quota to our nation’s development,” she said.

Speaking  further , she said that the management of UNICAL was so conscious about protecting students of the institution, especially the female ones.

Prof. Obi informed the UN Women that she was ready to partner with them, adding that when the students have the knowledge and advocacy, it would help to shape their conduct and behaviour.

Earlier, Mrs Tosin Akibu, Program Specialist, UN Women, said that the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria was launched in 2019 with a view to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Akibu said that part of their mandate was to strengthen the respond on how to prevent issues of gender based violence against women and girls.

She assured the VC that they would do everything to ensure that the programme of enlightening and creating awareness on the dangers of gender based violence in UNICAL is achieved.

Also speaking, Mr Adeyemi Asaba, Program Manager, Women At Risk International, said that their objective was to reduce the drastic rate of sexual harassment and rape across higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.

He commended the VC for her inclusiveness for persons living with disabilities in the institution and also for creating a directorate for gender

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