MOUAU VC, CGCD, Seek End To Gender-Based Violence

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia state has joined the world to commemorate the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Receiving in audience the Ag. Director, Centre for Gender and Child Development (CGCD), MOUAU, Dr. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka, in his conference room, the Vice-Chancellor, MOUAU, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure that the institution of learning is free from any form of GBV among female staff and students.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Udo Herbert, the Vice-Chancellor maintained that they would pursue and bring to book, those who molest and harass the female staff and students in the university community.

Prof. Iwe who disclosed that Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike Women Association (MOUAUWA) skill acquisition centre would be equipped within the resources available to the university, added that victims of GBV would also be rehabilitated by the institution.

Ag. Director, CGCD, MOUAU, Dr. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka

 

Earlier in her speech, the Ag. Director, CGCD, Dr. Mabel Onwuka, who decried the prevalent rate of Gender-Based Violence in the society, called for a collaborative efforts to tackle the ugly trend.

She listed these forms of violence to include: physical and psychological violence, rape, sexual harassment, use of abusive, offensive and discriminatory words, emotional blackmail, Female Gender Mutilation, forced marriages, socio-economic deprivation, stalking, among others, urging the victims to speak out so that they could be helped.

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Dr. Onwuka who described this year’s theme: ‘Unite Activism to End Violence against Women and Girls’ as apt, also thanked the university boss for the rare opportunities given to the female staff to contribute to the growth of the university, describing Prof. Iwe as a gender-sensitive and gender-friendly Vice-Chancellor.She further thanked the Vice-Chancellor for taking pro-active steps against GBV, urging him to create a safe room for counseling of GBV survivor at the CGCD and discipline all the culprits of GBV and their accomplices.

In her words: “As a centre for Gender and Child Development, we are striving to educate, sensitize, mobilize and campaign against various acts of violence against women and injustices towards the girl-child in our society. We will not be able to fight the war against the female-gender violence alone; that is why we reached out to these high-ranking female members of staff of this great institution of learning, to unit with us to fight against violence targeted at our female staff and students. Our interaction with some of our female students had shown that some of them face different forms of violence but do not have voices to speak up for them”.

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The Associate Professor of Soil Science, further revealed that Centre’s partnership with Abia State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, to provide grants to some of our vulnerable students to help them cushion the economic hardship that may bring about GBV, adding the first tranche of the grant would soon be paid to the beneficiaries.

She stated the Centre has commenced the development of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Gender Policy Framework, explaining that the first draft would be presented to the Vice-Chancellor by the first quarter of 2023.

Wife of the VC, MOUAU, Dr. Nkechinyere Nkem Iwe (Left) and the Director, CGCD MOUAU, Dr. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka (Right)

In her vote of thanks, the wife of the MOUAU Vice-Chancellor and the President, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike Women Association (MOUAUWA), Dr. Nkechinyere Nkem Iwe, thanked the Vice-Chancellor for yielding to their call for partnership in the fight against GBV, describing the fight, as a matter so dear to their hearts as mothers.

Dr. Iwe who further commended the Ag. Director, CGCD, Dr. Onwuka for championing the fight against GBV with passion, added that her dynamic approach to the matter is yielding great results.

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16 Days of Activism is an annual international campaign from 25th November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10th December (Human Rights Day); used to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Dignitaries at the event include; principal management officers of the university, some Deans of Colleges, Deputy Director, CGCD, Dr. N.K. Achi among others.

Highlights of the event was road walk, talk show, sharing of handbills and flyers among others by female staff and students.