Fred Itua, Abuja
Poised to curtail rising cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria, a human rights and good governance advocacy group, Make A Difference Initiative (MAD) yesterday launched a movement – Men Against Rape.
Speaking during the launch, the Executive Director of MAD, Lemmy Ughegbe decried the yawning gap between government reactionary rhetoric on the alarming rise in sex crimes within the country and concrete action.
“While there has been a general outcry over the rising cases, there is still a yawning gap between government reactionary rhetoric and concrete action. Several advocacy and interventions undertaken by our team have given insight to the fact that a lot more work needs to be done if we are to curb the menace of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in our society,” Ughegbe stated.
According to him, it is the bridge the yawning gap through concrete action that the movement has been born as women cannot win this fight without men, insisting that “real men protect children and women”.
He said “the tyranny of patriarchal culture and tradition have encourage crude discriminatory and abusive practices against women to fester in such a way that men sexualize women and command an uncanny sense of entitlement to their (women’s) bodies.”
He explained that the movement will continually engage the praxis of Participatory Communication and Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) in helping to change nuances, prejudices and mind-sets that make men embrace SGBV.
He said the movement – Men Against Rape shall be a strategic mass movement of men of diverse background and career – journalists, lawyers, business men, traders, governors, lawmakers, labourers who are committed to work towards curbing Sexual and Gender Based Violence in their communities and the nation at large.
In her good will message, Founder of Wanda Adu Foundation (WAF), Wanda Ebe, said she was excited that a movement of Men Against Rape has been midwifed by the Make A Difference Initiative.
“This is exciting news. Women cannot win the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence without the men. This movement is led by a feminist male champion, who has been committing his life to the course of children and women. On behalf of all women, I thank you for this movement and urge men of goodwill to sign up to it and help us win,” she said.
In the remark of the chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja Council, Mr, Emmanuel Ogbeche, he said this movement against sex crimes is a first of its kind in the country and called on all persons and organisations of goodwill to support the movement to succeed.
In his own remark, an American and founder of Black Panther and White Lion, John Henderson commended the initiative for the Men Against Rape Movement, saying there is no better time for it.