REPORT OF 27TH LUCRID WEBINAR SERIES TO MARK THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, THEMED UNITING TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS, ORGANISED BY THE DEPARTMENTS OF SOCIOLOGY AND POL. SCIENCE, INTER REL AND MASS COMMUNICATION IN COLLABORATION WITH LANDMARK UNIVERSITY SDG 5 (GENDER EQUALITY)
DATE: November 25, 2022
VENUE: SDGS exhibition Centre
The webinar effectively started with the vice-chancellor, Prof Charity Aremu situating the essence of the seminar. Before that, she noted that violence goes beyond the female gender, stating that we manifest violence in diverse ways. By implication, violence to one is violence to everyone.
The VC remarked that Landmark University has an overarching vision to become a world-class university that can only be achieved in an environment of inclusion and equity. She extolled the facilitator as one who is qualified to do the presentation based on her role as a lawyer and gender activist.
Then comes the facilitator, Barrister Dr. Ruth Abiola Adimula, who spoke on the topic: UNITING TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
She, first of all, provided context to the topic by explaining violence. She defined violence in many ways but the dominant framework is that it is the exertion of force upon any person. It could be physical, sexual, psychological; long time, or short time. Violence can be gender-based, and it is gender-based if it exacts force on women on the account of their gender, noting that men can also be victims of violence. But because of the demand of the occasion, she talked about women.
The facilitator stressed the topicality of the theme because the consequences are pervasive, and there is particularly a rapid rise in suicide due to domestic violence. She spoke about domestic violence as any pattern of behaviour used to gain control of one’s partner.
She provided various dimensions of domestic violence, which include economic, socio-economic, psychological, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse – which is the most prominent one.
Other dimensions of violence are human trafficking, female genital mutilation, honour killing – where a woman is killed for degrading the integrity of the family.
In the next section of the presentation, she spoke on the various ways to unite to fight violence against women and girls. She explained the following ways:
- Speak out: encourage women and girls to speak out because under-reporting of violence is the bane of activism against it
- Education of more girls will empower them to have the privilege to defend themselves and society economic empowerment
- Social Media, which is like an echo chamber that we can use to spread messages on violence against women and girls
- Supporting organisations that are involved in promoting gender activity or equality
She concluded by saying that everyone has to fight violence against women.
Questions and Answers Session
The following questions were asked:
- What is the place of culture in gender inequality?
- Are women asking for your equality or parity?
- Does rape happen between a couple?
- Can violence against women be a way to tame a dissident wife?
- How do you erase the psychology of being raped at a young age?
- Does the Bible justify male dominance?
Some of the answers are as follows:
- Gender violence has become a public health issue.
- It is a cultural challenge. It is a challenge of values.
- It is sustained through the socialization process. We all need to be agents of change and champions of change.
- Anyone who was raped at a young age and cannot get over the trauma should see a therapist or talk to a parent that has a therapeutic mentality.
- To achieve equality, we need to internationalize our culture, and to internationalise means a departure from the non-equitable African culture of silencing women and removal of a traditional culture
- Gender equality does not mean competing with the opposite sex. It simply means equality of rights and privileges.
- Men that grew up in abusive homes have a jaded attitude toward gender-based violence. They think it is normal.
- Most of the time, gender-based violence is perpetuated by the victim’s relatives.