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6 Nigerian varsities benefit from UNESCO action plan to end Gender Based Violence 

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By Akpan David, Calabar

The Programme Director of ISMPH – UNESCO Spotlight Initiative, Mr Solomon Dogo has disclosed that six Nigerian universities are benefiting from a funded project to end Gender Based Violence on their campuses.

He made the disclosure in Calabar,  capital of Cross River State during a youth rally involving mostly students of University of Calabar (UNICAL) to mark this year’s International Youth Day, which had as theme: “Green Skills for youths”.

He said “The project is being implemented in six  universities. In the first phase we have implemented it in University of Lagos, University of Sokoto and the University of Abuja.

“In the second phase, we are beginning to implement in Ebonyi State University, University of Calabar and the American International University, Yola.

“So Calabar falls within the states the project is being implemented and again the University of Calabar is a very big university and we feel it’s a very big space to end Gender based violence.

“The spotlight Initiative is trying to address the issue of gender based violence and that is why we will be going to other campuses to ensure that gender based violence ends within the country,” he explained.

He maintained that the project is necessary so that as the students will be going out to the larger society the GBV would have ended than for them to go out with it.

He said if they have that mindset that gender based violence is not good then when they go out into the larger society they will be able to become better citizens.

“The first phase will be the awareness creation which we have collaborated with the student union government to see that we create that awareness within the campus.

“Then for management it is the manual we have developed which the management has promised to see that it is part of the curriculum at the Gender Studies department”, he said.

“Before now, we have developed a gender response manual which was shared with the University of Calabar management and they have given us commitment that the gender based violence manual will be used as a curriculum within the school.

“We are happy that the University management has taken that strong commitment  and the student union government as well are committed to seeing that the school ends gender based violence.

The Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof Florence Obi represented by Mrs Grace Ibor, Deputy Director, office of sustainable fund management and alumni relations, said they are with the collaboration with UNESCO and would inculcate the manual into their academic programmes and would join forces to end gender based violence within the institution.

She said the institution has  provided opportunities for youths to access international activities to learn skills and support the sustainable development goals.

“We are working with the directorate of general studies, academic planning and directorate of gender to infuse it into our curriculum  to ensure it is properly mainstreamed,” she said.

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