Male-dominated culture cause of gender-based violence – NBS, LSD

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre-LSD) have attributed the high rate of gender-based violence (GBV) to male-dominated culture.

This was contained in a study conducted by both organisations, which was unveiled in Abuja at a National Masculinity Conference on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Extractive Sector in Nigeria.

The conference was jointly organised by Centre- LSD in collaboration with NBS with support from Ford Foundation.

Presenting the report, Dr Akin Oke, said the study was conducted in six states, namely: Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara, cutting across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

Oke said available evidence from the research identified patriarchy and male-dominated culture as drivers of GBV in the extractive sector. He listed some common forms of GBV across mining communities to include insults, stalking, assault, exhibitionism, threats, being groped, sexual touching, attempted forced sexual intercourse and rape.

“The most prevalent forms of GBV in mining communities are domestic violence-31 per cent, forced marriage-15 per cent and sexual abuse-14 per cent. However, there is a study-defined category that highlighted other forms of GBV being experienced in the communities which included: rights violation in terms of safety concerns and lack of protective materials not provided.

“Others are economic abuse, women being paid less than men for similar task on mining sites, women and girls driven from sites with threats of rape and sexual abuse.

“There is also manipulation of underage girls for sexual favours, underage girls’ arms couriers and illegal mineral smugglers,” he said.

Oke, further, said that the study recommended specific actions required of the government, civil groups and other stakeholders in addressing GBV in the extractive sector, such as sustained advocacy for policy review.

He added that capacity strengthening in implementing existing mechanisms toward reducing the gender impact of extractives activities in current policies and regulations was pivotal.

He also noted that community members should continue to protect the rights of GBV survivals and continuously sensitise people to end negative impact of exaggerated masculinity associated with mining.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Simon Harry, represented by Mr Tunde Adebisi, Director, Social and Gender Statistic Department, said the collaborative initiative was in line with NBS’ philosophy.

“The Nigerian law says that for any data to be accepted, if NBS is not part of the process it won’t be recognised because it must have the NBS stamp as accepted,” he said.

Also speaking, Executive Director, Centre-LSD, Mr Monday Osasah, said in the last six years, the Centre had been working to deconstruct the concept of masculinity.

Osasah said the centre was working to change the face of advocacy from the victims to the perpetuators of GBV who were mainly men.

“We discovered that even when the perpetuators are known and the victims are also known, there is no clear statistics to write anything about GBV, there is no where you can get the data.

“So, what we need when we have this support from Ford Foundation is to go deeply into the subject matter to generate data that can be nationally accepted, hence the need to collaborate with NBS became imperative,” he said.

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