Experts on Friday said preventing sexual violence starts with what parents teach young boys on girl-child sexual rights. Speaking during a three-day capacity training for journalists on Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights in Ibadan, the experts said changing men’s perception and attitude towards girls, starts with parents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by IPAS, an international non-profit advocacy group, and was focused on improving and expanding women’s sexual and reproductive rights. An Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr Steve Lemadoro, said that parents had the responsibility to raise boys who would grow up to become men who respect and protect women’s sexual rights and dignity. Lemadoro said that it was time parents questioned themselves on how they were raising their boy-child. ”If they are raising them to be caring, confident and respectful men?
“Sexual violence often results from things that men do. We know that this is largely a male thing. “I ask parents what kind of boys are you raising? ”Are you raising a boy that respects the autonomy of the female and knows that the female should give consent to whatever things that should be done to her body? “Are you raising a child that honours female and regards them as equal sex and that should be given all the opportunity that they should have and be supported all the time?
“When we begin to have a society that have boys growing to become men who have these kind of values, we will have less of violence, less of rape, less of these kind of challenges we are facing right now. ”A lot of the problems we were facing right now arose from the fact that boys and men still saw women as properties that they could own with no opinions on how they should be treated. “We need to begin to raise boys that will become men that will respect women, honour women and respect that women have the right over their own body and the right to decide on what to do with their bodies at all times,” he said.
Also contributing, a Policy and Advocacy Advisor, IPAS, Mrs Doris Ikepze, said that sexual violence and assault was an insidious problem which indicated erosion of social norms and values. Ikepze who lauded the domestication of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act by some state governments, said that there was need to scale-up community awareness on women’s sexual rights.
According to her, rape has long-term devastating consequences not just on the victim but also the society as a whole. She said that thousands of unwanted pregnancies resulted from rape every year, which subsequently oftentimes lead to unsafe abortions. “Sexual violence may result in sexual gratification on the part of the perpetrator. ”Its underlying purpose is often the expression of power and dominance over the person violated. ”A high percentage of pregnancy that results from sexual violence ends up in abortion,” she said.