The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Centre LSD, has commenced the implementation of a Male engagement project for the reduction of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR), and Harmful Traditional Practices in Nigeria.
The program, which is an initiative of the European Union and the United Nations under the Spotlight Initiative, envisions a Nigeria where all women and girls, particularly the most vulnerable, live a life free from violence and harmful practices, by addressing the linkages between sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices with related aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights as a cross-cutting theme. Focus will be on prevention efforts particularly addressing the root causes of gender-based violence and harmful practices (child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation) against women and girls; and ensuring access to inclusive, timely, and quality services for victims and survivors with a vibrant CSOs and women movement.
The Centre will work with other implementing partners to achieve the goal of the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria.
A statement released by the project lead, Mr. Vincent Dania, said Centre LSD role in the project include: Mobilizing men and setting up platforms of men against Sexual & Gender-Based Violence at the community level; strengthening the capacities of identified traditional, religious leaders and media. It will also identify and train male advocates and champions at different levels (community, state and national) to continuously speak up against Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG); engaging male opinion leaders to secure support for VAWG, gender equality and the empowerment of women; and train women and girls’ rights defenders in relevant skills to better engage with religious leaders to end VAWG and HP.
Centre LSD will be implementing the project in two states – Lagos and Cross River.