Parents have been advised to educate their children on all they need to know about sex education.
Mrs Oluwayemisi Ogunyemi, an Assistant Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, gave the advice in Badagry on Monday during a virtual discussion organised by the Badagry Development Women Forum (BDWF).
Ogunyemi advised parents to always define every part of their children’s body, particularly, their private parts to them so that children could understand their importance.
The theme of the virtual topic is: “Impact of Mothers on Sexual Assault and Consent in Recent Times”.
Ogunyemi said more emphasis should be laid on consent when educating the children on sex education at a young age.
“Let the children know that it is ‘my body, my rules’.
“No one should have dominance over me or my body because of the clothes I wear, or the way I look or because I was born differently,” she said.
She advised that parents should learn how to communicate properly and be protective of their children.
Ogunyemi said that mothers alone should not be left alone to care for their children at home.
According to her, parenting is a collective responsibility, and I think that the onus should not be on just the mothers.
“Both parents should as much as possible ensure they make themselves available to their children, not just physically, but also emotionally.
“But in a situation whereby the children are not particularly close to their fathers, I will encourage mothers to fill that vacuum and ensure that they educate their children properly.
“Make them know that no matter what happens, they can always have at least one person to confide in.
“I am fully aware that the society has put the bigger burden of raising the child on the mother,” she said.
She said that over the years, a greater per cent of African mothers were complacent about how they raised their male children, and that tradition was carried down from generation to generation.
“Some mothers never really hold their male children with the same level of accountability as their female children.
“Some do it unintentionally because that’s what they’re were taught to accept as the normal way of life.
“The typical African home focuses more on raising the girl-child in a certain manner such as teaching her how to cook, how to dress decently and how to behave in order to score a good man and marry into a good home,” she said.
On the incessant cases of rape in the country, Ogunyemi said creating an atmosphere for victims to open up could be helpful.
“Until we begin to create a safe space for the victims to speak up until we begin to advocate for capital punishment for rapists and their apologists, we might not see the end of this war.
“The poor lady that was raped and murdered in a church in Edo, a place that should be safe for all, what can we say she did wrong? What excuses can be given?
“This further buttresses my point that regardless of how decent or indecently dressed a lady is, she can still be raped.
“I believe that the earlier we begin to blame the rapists for the act, instead of blaming the victims; the earlier we teach our male children that you have no authority over anyone’s body, because you’re stronger or because you were born a male child, the better for the society,” she said.
Also, David Chidozie, the Chief Executive Officer of Chidozie Global Network, said that the same energy channelled at training the girl-child should be channelled towards training the boy-child.
According to him, rape should not only be viewed as a female thing, saying that while she is the victim, but the male is also the culprit.
”The menfolk will be in a better position to fight rape because they are in the centre of it; the men are the promoters of rape and should be called out to lead the advocacy,” he said.