Boys Quarters Africa, an advocacy group, has launched #BoysToo campaign to address the sexual harassment and abuse of the male child.
In a statement, the group said the campaign seeks to provide a platform for males to narrate their experiences on sexual abuse and to also provide the right sex education for male children.
The group said it has taken the campaign to 10 schools across Africa, including Orogun Grammar School, Ibadan, Oyo state, in 2019 alone.
“The overall intent is to take sexual education to every boy-child across Africa, teach them about the truth around sexual abuse and sensitize them on the importance of speaking up,” the statement read.
“The discussion around rape and abuse has been a women and girl-centred one, and this one-sided perspective isn’t a balance, as a lot of boys and men experience abuse of different hues and forms too.”
Speaking at the Oyo state campaign, Glory Odikagbue, operations lead of Boys Quarters Africa, said the organisation has been able to reach about 4,000 boys and sensitised them on sexual abuse.
“From June till date, we have been to Kogi, Niger, Akure, Ife, Osogbo, Lagos, Kwara, Lokoja, Abuja, Ghana, Angola and South Africa. We have been able to train countless volunteers, teach boys on their sexual make-up, how to identify sexual predators, how to keep their private very private and also reiterate the essence of speaking up,” she said.
“I am a woman and I believe rape and abuse should not be a women-focused discussion only. If our boys don’t get the required and deliberate attention like the girl-child, they may end up in the same circle the society has always complained about.”
Solomon Ayodele, founder of the organisation, said the campaign does not seek to contest with the feminist ideology.
He said the group seeks to give listening ears to the male counterpart and create a balance for the conversation on child abuse and sexual harassment.
“The #BoysToo is not a move to stir any anti-feminism movement but a raging need that requires urgent attention. The on-the-ground experience and engagement with these boys has helped us see and know the depth of damage this unsaid events is causing in the boy child space,” he said.
“We have heard a boy share his experiences with his nanny, how she would make him lick her private or the boy who was repeatedly sodomized by his first cousin. This is the reality we are bringing to the world and the campaign is offering us a good opportunity to teach the boys about the importance of speaking up.”