UNESCO REITERATES PLANS FOR ERADICATION OF GENDER BASE VIOLENCE.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has reiterated its commitment to ensure that Gender-Based Violence(GBV) is eradicated in the country through education of women, girls and boys.

Mr Mamadou Sow, Officer-in-Charge, UNESCO Multi-sectoral Regional Office made the commitment on Thursday during the Family Life and Health Education (FLHE), manual presentation in Abuja.

The FLHE manual was conceptualised by Education Today for Sustainable Development Initiative (ETSDI), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), for the implementation of Spotlight Initiative.

Spotlight Initiative is a project of the UN and EU, a 600 million Euros global investment, to end violence against women and girls in 25 countries including Nigeria.

“We will be working very closely with the CSO, we will pay monitoring visits to the field and part of the things we will be assessing is whether this material has been distributed and used.

“We will also be assessing if the beneficiaries’ capacities are being developed and to which level the manual has helped reshape their capacities to fight against GBV.

“We will assess if the manual has helped them acquire life skills, competencies and helping them know their rights and responsibilities,” he said.

Accessing the manual, Sow said it was produced in consultations with relevant stakeholders, which was the best way of developing any teaching and learning material.

He, however, encouraged the CSO to ensure effective distribution of the manual to reach the targeted audience in their homes and communities.

Earlier, Mrs Brenda-Otuojor Glory, Head of Programmes, ETSDI said the FLHE/Life Skill Facilitator manual was developed with support from UNESCO to enhance non-formal education across the country.

According to her, the manual became imperative because non-formal education curriculum existing in the country does not accommodate the teaching of FLHE and life skills.

She added that it was prepared to provide easy learning skills and enable facilitators to teach the modules with ease, according to local needs and interest.

“This manual is primarily developed for non-formal education facilitators, it can be adapted by any groups in the formal education centres, faith-based organisations, among others.

“The facilitators should be professional teachers with the knowledge of the educational process and the manual is ideal for a group of 10 to 40 learners in an interactive manner,” she said.

She added that it had to be reviewed and validated by relevant stakeholders and was already being implemented in Ebonyi and environs.

Also, Mrs Hadiza Aminu, Spotlight Coordinator in Nigeria, said the team was looking at addressing the gaps existing in ensuring effective eradication of GBV and the manual would help.

Aminu stated that they were also tackling the dearth of data for GBV, putting systems in place and providing centres where GBV survivors could access help.

“For Nigeria, we are looking at some strategic areas that will be impactful to the interventions and gaps.

“It showed us that based on our assessment before the programme began that data on GBV was lacking.

“We don’t have data on GBV across the country and we are trying to do that, we have also put in place some structures within the Ministry of Women Affairs for data collection.

“We are looking at system strengthening such as capacity building for ministries, departments and agencies, strengthening the voices of women, women’s movement and CSOs.

“We are looking at where survivors of GBV can access services, we are trying to set up centres across the country so that a survivor knows where to go,” she said.

She added that they were also raising awareness on the social norms as a major cause of GBV, as well as laying emphasis on empowering women and girls.

Aminu emphasised that women and girls needed life skills that would ensure they were self-reliant and help them to be assertive in situations that could lead to GBV.

That implementation of Spotlight Initiative is being piloted in six states of the geo-political zones of the country, namely; Sokoto, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Lagos, Cross-River and FCT, for the next four years.

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