Women are not to blame for any gender based violent acts that befall them, says United Nations resident coordinator Janet Rogan. She said it was time for some sections of society stopped making excuses for men that violate women.
Ms Rogan said in an interview that blaming women for any acts of GBV against them was an excuse that could no longer be condoned.
“When you talk about GBV, none of those cases did a woman ask to be beaten or raped, a man decides to do that,” she said.
Ms Rogan said regardless of the situation the actor of the violent act was solely responsible for their action and not the victim even under circumstances of provocation.
“That is what separates us from animals – the ability to choose right and wrong, men are responsible for their actions and should take responsibility,” she said.
Ms Rogan said there are various laws against defilement, battery, abuse and other vices and it is everyone’s responsibility to abide by them.
“Anytime you choose as a man to act out any GBV you are breaking the law and this is a crime,” she said.
Ms Rogan also said the He for She campaign was aimed at promoting equality between men and women with a focus on behaviour change by men.
She said the campaign also helped enhance women viewing themselves as equals to men and not inferior.
“Women have the same potential as men regardless of the difference in physical appearance,” Ms Rogan said.
She said women should work on their ambitions, missions and goals and should not back down because of their gender.
“There are women out there that have ambitions and the drive to succeed and deserve an opportunity just like men,” Ms Rogan said.
She said the campaign will also focus on traditional leaders because of their role in customs, traditions and dissemination of information.
Ms Rogan said some men and women were not aware that it was a crime to assault others hence the need for more sensitization in rural areas where chiefs are located.
She noted that chiefs who are ‘law’ makers in their respective chiefdoms can help root out GBV.
“If more people are aware that it is a crime punishable by law, this may change how they view acts of GBV and potentially cause them to refrain,” Ms Rogan said.
She has called on men to sign up and become champions of the He for She campaigns.