Ondo Govt, NGO Partner To End Sexual Abuse In Tertiary Institutions
A non-governmental organization (NGO), Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI) has signed a partnership agreement with the Government of Ondo State to end sexual assault in institutions of higher learning in the state.
At the colourful event held in Akure, the Executive Director of GMI, Omowumi Ogunrotimi said sexual assault in Nigeria’s higher institutions has witnessed an all-time high with associated negative outcomes for victims.
She said the MoU signed with the state government would allow government to adopt its model, while it provides technical support to the state.
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She said the organisation has an adopted approach called campus safety initiative, where it collaborates with the institutions of higher learning to strengthen their internal mechanism with innovative policy designed to foster accountability and access to justice.
Ogunrotimi said, “Before now, we have been interacting with individual institution, but this partnership shows that Ondo State is demonstrating a political will to own the process in a way that they will be the ones to drive it, mandate this state- owned institutions of higher learning to actually adopt this model.
“While we will provide the technical support for them to develop their policy, we will also build their capacity to be able to respond to sexual harassment cases
“And most importantly, to be able to see that they are able to adopt the Mobile application in a way it is safe for everyone in that environment,” she said.
“Gender Mobile Initiative is partnering with not fewer than 107 institutions of higher learning with the support of the Ford Foundation to combat the remote and proximate cause of sexual harassment in institutions of higher learning”
Earlier, Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Gender, Mrs Olamide Falana said the project was borne of the need to have active collaboration with civil society on prevention of gender based violence in the state.
Falana, who appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for signing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act into law, said there were still gaps to be fixed in the fight and the need to have a safe environment for the young ones to thrive.
She however called for more support from different international and donor agencies to stem down the menace.
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The Commissioner for Women Affairs,Mrs Bunmi Oshadaun, said the MoU signing came at the appropriate time saying,”my ministry is passionate about what happens to our future mothers.”
However, Director of Corporate Communication, Federal University of Technology (FUTA) Adegbenro Adebanjo, urged all involved to take the fight beyond universities and target traditional institutions and religious places.
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