A gender and generational issues expert, Professor Olusola Odebode has urged increased advocacy and sensitisation to female genital mutilation (FGM), being an act of violence against women’s right and health.
Professor Odebode spoke at a lecture in commemoration of the 2020 International Women’s Day at the Oyo State College of Health Science and Technology, Eleyele, Ibadan.
Odebode, a professor of agricultural extension and rural development at the University of Ibadan, noted that FGM was one way whereby women and girls are violated in Nigeria and so an act with unhealthy consequences that are best stopped.
The don, who highlighted other acts of violence against women as rape, battering, cyberbully and verbal and sexual assault, said advocacy groups should work more with the government to disallow FGM in the community.
According to Professor Odebode, “it is important that we talk against gender violence like rape, sexual harassment and so on, and eliminate them as well as not allow the perpetrators to go scout free.”
The expert said both male-centred violence and female centred violence can result in depression, abuse of drugs like hemp, attempted suicide, post-traumatic disorder and death,
She, however, called for an end to the overall marginalisation of women and socioeconomic inequalities in the society to ensure gender equality for all.
According to her, “gender equality means equal access to resources, opportunities and control over resources for all; it is fairness to all gender, both male and female.”
Provost, Oyo State College of Health Sciences and Technology, Mr Siji Ganiyu, said the college organised the public lecture to sensitise and create awareness because more than a third of women worldwide had experienced violence at some point in their lives.
Mr Ganiyu said the 2020 International Women’s Day celebration theme called for action from everyone to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls and thereby ensure peace at home.
He added, “It is when there is peace in the home that nation will be at peace and our students will be able to study in peace.”
Wife of the Oyo State governor, and special guest of honour at the occasion, Engineer Tamunominini Makinde, said violence against a female is one of the least recognised human rights abuses and a pervasive problem worldwide.
Mrs Makinde, speaking through Mrs Adejoke Eyitayo, Permanent Secretary, General Administration, stated that the scope of violence against women is alarmingly vast and called for the enforcement of the violence act bill in the state.