Group trains 300 school officials on Gender-based violence

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The World Bank-supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project in Kaduna State has trained 300 school officials to curb gender-based violence in secondary schools.

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The project’s Technical Assistant on System Strengthening, Hajiya Zainab Maina-Lukat, stated this in Kaduna on Thursday, during the training that centred on school-related, gender-based violence safeguarding, and the signing of a Code of Conduct.

Maina-Lukat explained that the training was meant to make the school environment safe and secure for teachers and learners in line with the deliverables of the AGILE project.

She said that many students had experienced one form of violence or the other while in school, noting that girls were mostly affected.

Maina-Lukat added that the training was meant to enlighten participants on what gender-based violence is and what should be done so that girls would feel safe against physical, emotional, and sexual violence in school.

She noted that the project had developed a Code of Conduct brochure for everyone working in the school environment to sign.

Maina-Lukat also explained that those working in the school environment are expected to commit to the 15 principles in the Code of Conduct brochure, sign and promise to adhere to them.

“There are about 30,000 people that work within the school environment including contractors and their labourers, who must know about the effects of gender-based violence and sign the Code of Conduct brochure.

“We hope participants at the training will percolate what they have learnt to all the 30,000 individuals that work within the school environment so that we will all be on the same page.

“School-related gender-based violence every day and we must learn to speak out,’’ she said.

Differentiating between sex and gender, one of the facilitators, an Assistant Team Lead, Research Hub Africa, Ms. Eseoghene Adams, described sex as the “physical or biological differences’’ between man and woman.

The facilitator explained that gender-based violence included a range of abusive behaviours such as emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, and economic abuse and control.

She said, “Gender-based violence can have long-term physical, psychological and emotional impacts on survivors and can affect their well-being and relationship for years.

“It is a public health issue that affects individuals and communities and as such, requires a collective response to prevent and have it addressed effectively ” she added.

According to reports, the AGILE project is the initiative of the Nigerian Government with funding support from the World Bank.

It aims to ensure adolescent girls get access to quality secondary school education through enhanced learning, digital literacy and life skills, which empowers and assures of better life chances and experiences.