The Peace Frequency: Episode 38

Guest: Gbenga Oni


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Air Date: August 12, 2016

Youth peacebuilder, Gbenga Oni of Nigeria, is a Generation Change and YALI Fellow who implements peacebuilding programs in Northern Nigeria in partnership with Justice, Development and Peace Caritas Advocates. JDPCA envisions a community where justice and promotion of human dignity are held sacred and all citizens are able to realize their full potential in a just, safe and free environment. On the show, Gbenga will discuss the challenges associated with reaching gender equality in Nigeria and what young people are doing to further this goal.

Questions and Comments

  • Imrana Alhaji Buba

    Hi Gbenga, Gender bias exist in northern Nigeria as many young girls are being denied access to education and forced to marry men chosen for them. How does JDPCA is working to address this problem?

    • Gbenga-Isaac Oni

      Thank you Imrana, we are working in partnership with organisations like JNI, & FOMWAN on campaign for girl child education and addressing the challenge of early marriage, for parents to at least ensure these girls get a basic of primary education and learn a trade. While also we pushed for adult literacy classes included in Islamic teaching, so that some can have a second chance education. We were also part of two organisation in Kano with support from US Embassy to pass the Aliimajiri bill, to ensure they get inclusive education alongside their Islamic teaching and punish any Imam, using them to beg on the street.

  • Vweta Chadwick

    Great work you are doing Gbenga. How do you balance religion and cultural norms in Northern Nigeria towards promoting gender equality?

    • Gbenga-Isaac Oni

      Vweta, not an easy task, but first one must accord religion and cultural belief of the people respect. And when they see you as someone respectful to their religion, because everything about religion and culture are not evil. So when there is cultural and religious appreciation, you able to break into the system, while also using the moderate voices in the region.

  • Rebecca Ojedele

    In what practical ways have you been able to advocate for gender equality especially to gatekeepers and influencers in your community who may not necessarily consider gender equality/equity important

    • Gbenga-Isaac Oni

      Getting them involved in our training, focused group discussions and having personalized meetings with them to share the pros and cons of having women involved in community development. Though I must confess it has not been a easy process changing their view, but in the long run majority are changing and now championing the cause of inclusion women, because they are seeing the benefit of having women and girl active in community development.

  • A.G. Bala

    Thank you Mr. Gbenga for your noble work. Aside religious and cultural respects especially to your host communities, what other things can you points that help you excel in passing your message across, particularly in this part of Nigeria?

  • PD

    Good job bro, the age long Almajiri system is to the male child as early marriage is to the girl child in Northern Nigeria. What is your opinion on this social malaise and do you see an intelligent way forward to ending this scourge?