Gender Equality Headline National News Nigeria

Ministry of Justice to tackle school related gender-based violence

The SRGBV team inaugurated in Abuja. Photo: Ifeoma Nwovu/Radio Nigeria

The Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba has called for urgent measures to combat School-Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) in Nigeria.

Mrs Jeddy-Agba made the call at the inauguration of the Committee on Legal Pathway for the Prosecution of Perpetrators of SRGBV in Abuja.

School-Related Gender-Based Violence, according to UNICEF is a global phenomenon that affects millions of children, families and communities.

Mrs Jeddy-Agba explained that school related gender-based violence occurs in schools, around school or as a result of school relationship which includes physical violence, sexual violence and psychological violence, teacher-perpetrated abuse, excessive punishment, bullying by peers, rape, and physical assault.

She said the discourse about SRGBV has been on the front burner in different fora as an emerging menace that can no longer be ignored and one which must be combatted decisively and squarely.

According to Jeddy-Agba, the committee was established to develop a Standard Operating Procedure as a working tool to guide key stakeholders in Basic Education Institution across Nigeria to respond to cases of school related gender-based violence when they occur.

“The committee will, therefore, work together with the SGBV Response Unit to facilitate and develop this document to provide a routine procedure to respond to these cases in schools”, she said.

The representative of UNESCO, Mr Stephen Onyekwelu, said that gender-based violence cannot be eradicated without education and stressed the need for sensitisation to curb gender-based violence.

“We have worked with various secondary schools in the FCT establishing school gender classes, we supported in the revising the National Basic Education curriculum to improve some components of gender-based violence issues.

He said UNESCO in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education are currently revising the National healthcare policy for secondary schools which will be presented at the National Council of Education.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade