“In Ogun State, where I am the first lady and several other states, we have the Sexual Assault Referral Center, the Family Support Unit, and other shelters for women, but I have to say it is not enough.”
The Sterling One Foundation says it recently held a screening of the movie ‘Chatroom’ to raise awareness on the various forms of abuse against women, the cultural traits that fuel them, and the resources available to victims.
It said this was part of its initiatives to reduce instances of gender-based violence in Nigeria and honour the ‘16 Days of Activism’ campaign.
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A statement by the foundation said the screening also featured an interactive session that allowed viewers to share their thoughts on what could be done to reduce violence against women and girls, drawing insights from their various communities.
According to the statement, annually, the United Nations marks the ‘16 Days of Activism’ against gender-based violence campaign to get more people to participate in ending the abuse of women in all its forms.
The statement added that the campaign, formally acknowledged in 1999, focused on raising public awareness and influencing policy to combat discriminatory practices and defend women’s rights in all communities.
Speaking on the campaign’s significance, the Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, emphasised the need to raise the right level of awareness, given that many women and girls were unaware they had been abused due to the widespread acceptance of some abusive behaviours.
She said, “As an organisation where gender empowerment is one of our thematic areas, we consider it crucial to help more women understand their rights better and know when they are being trampled upon.
“For us, awareness is the foundation of the work, as it empowers more women to take action, speak up, and break cycles of abuse.”
The First Lady of Ogun State, Bamidele Abiodun, special guest of honour, spoke on sexual and gender-based violence in the society and the need to change the approach to dealing with the issue of violent behaviour.
She said, “In Ogun State, where I am the first lady and several other states, we have the Sexual Assault Referral Center, the Family Support Unit, and other shelters for women, but I have to say it is not enough.”
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