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UNESCO Tells UNICAL Students to End Gender Based Violence

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 Tina Ezin, Calabar

 UNICAL students at the rally in Calabar

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has called for zero gender based violence within the institution.

They made the call during a rally at weekend in UNICAL to mark this year’s International Youth Day, with the theme; “Green Skills for Youths”. 

The Programme Director, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) – UNESCO Spotlight Initiative, Solomon Dogo said this year’s International Youth Day, as the theme implies was set aside to encourage youths to get their minds busy with skills and  shorn all forms of GBV in their space.     

He said to this end, UNESCO has developed a gender response manual which the management of UNICAL promised to use as a curriculum within the school.

“Today is the international youth day and we have organised a rally with students of the University of Calabar to see how we can end Gender Based Violence.

“Before now, we have developed a gender response manual which was shared with the University of Calabar management and they have given us commitment that the gender based violence manual will be used as a curriculum within the school.

“We are happy that the University management has taken that strong commitment and the student union government as well has committed to seeing that the school ends gender based violence”, he said.

According to him, the spotlight Initiative project was implemented in six states of Lagos, Abuja Sokoto, Ebonyi, Yola and Cross River.

Dogo explained that the first phase was already implemented in University of Lagos, University of Sokoto and the University of Abuja and they have started the implementation of the second phase in the University of Calabar, Ebonyi State University and the American International University, Yola and Calabar falls within the states the project is being implemented and again the University of Calabar is a very big and a very big space to end Gender based violence.

“The spotlight Initiative is trying to address the issue of gender based violence and that is why we will be going to other campuses to ensure that gender based violence ends within the country. The students will be going out to the larger society and it is better they end it now while they are still on campus than when they go out.

“If they have that mindset that gender based violence is not good then when they go out into the larger society they will be able to become better citizens.

The first phase will be the awareness creation which we have collaborated with the student union government to see that we create that awareness within the campus. Then for management it is the manual we have developed which the management has promised to see that it is part of the curriculum at the Gender Studies department”, he stated.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. Florence Obi said the management of the institution has provided an enabling environment for youths in Cross River, especially the ones in the campus to have access to international development activities to gain skills and sustain the development sustainable goals.

Obi who was represented by the Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fund Management and Alumni Relations, Mrs. Grace Ibor, noted that the International Youths Day in collaboration with UNESCO Spotlight is working with the directorate of gender to infuse the gender response manual into the school curriculum.

She said, “University of Calabar prioritizes issues of youths because we have 45,000 youths in our community.Notably, to mark the International Youth Day, UNESCO is here to work with us on prevention of gender based violence, we are working assiduously to ensure that our campus is safe and therefore we recognized the effort of UNESCO and other partners, we will continue to work to break the silence of the gender based violence issues and help students to talk about it so they can get help”.

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