The initial responses on twitter to the Chairman of Thisday Editorial Board, Segun Adeniyi’s call for men to take responsibility for ending sexual violence against women has been resistance, some level of confrontation and apathy.
Adeniyi, posted his speech, “Sexual Violence Against Women: Why Men’s Voices Matter” delivered on Thursday at a webinar on “Finding Safe Spaces for Female Students in Nigerian Universities, on twitter.
The webinar was organised by Obafemi Awolowo University.
READ ALSO: No Excuse For Sexual Harassment – Osinbajo
Some of the comments to his tweet were, “Men are victims, but let me read’ and “The monsterisation of men by people sympathetic to women’s struggle has completely made me indifferent towards it They have their struggles. They have a whole ministry dedicated to helping them. They don’t need help.”
In the speech, Adeniyi made a case for men to raise their voices against sexual violence saying, “If men should reduce sexual violence, especially in institutions of high learning in Nigeria and across Africa to a ‘women’s issue’ and sit back, they are just as morally complicit.
Adeniyi, in the speech expressed regret and admitted to getting some pushback from women, the African Feminist Initiative in particular, for using their public statements without consent after publishing his book; NAKED ABUSE: Sex for Grade in African Universities.
He said, “I withdrew the copies in circulation to make amends in the back cover and also enrich the narrative, following the feedback that I received.”
His message on Thursday however was that, “it is only when we succeed in curbing predatory behaviour on our campuses that we can truly begin to make education spaces safe women and girls in our country and on our continent”
READ ALSO: Senate Passes Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill
He said, “But considering that sexual violence is a symptom of a society that has allowed sexism and other forms of inequality to fester, the issue at stake is an ethical one. The burden of uplifting our society can therefore not be reduced to women’s problem and men conveniently shut up.
“It will take a collaborative effort of all critical stakeholders to rid the society of the problem in all its manifestations. And every voice counts.”