International Women’s Day is a global day selected to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of women from all works of life and mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
We at Dinidari Foundation understand that a huge factor that stands in the way of achieving gender equality is Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and before there can be indicated change that gives women equal opportunities as their male counterparts one of the things that must be tackled is the issue of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
Therefore in commemoration of international women’s day, we put together a publication containing stories of SGBV survivors, a nationwide directory of organizations working in the SGBV space, and numbers to call and report cases of SGBV. We distributed this publication to students in two different schools and a community in the Kuje Council area.
This was made possible by Action Aid Nigeria and The High Commission of Canada to Nigeria. We had quite an interactive session with the students where they asked questions that we were more than willing to answer, at the end of sensitization at one school, a case of rape and another of domestic violence was reported.
At the community the sensitization was not any less engaging rather it was so interactive that we had assured them we would visit again given the time and resources, the women in the community were so eager to learn and understand how they can prevent unwanted pregnancies and the best way to address issues of domestic violence, the conversation escalated to the issue of unemployment and how it limits their options when faced with domestic violence and other forms of SGBV.
It is no longer news that financial dependency keeps many women and girls in abusive relationships. With the rise in insecurity in our schools, it becomes even more difficult for the girl child to get the education she needs to be financially independent and bridge the gap that makes women more disadvantaged in comparison to their male counterparts, therefore, widening the gap between both genders. Nevertheless, we remain positive, confident, and hopeful that in no farther future, we will get rid of SGBV and women will no longer be subjected to this painful narrative that leaves them no room for escape and succor.
It is because of these women and girls that we wake up every day determined to close the gap and end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence it is because of these women and girls and for the future that we stare at Sexual and Gender-Based Violence dead in the eye and choose to challenge the cultural and traditional norms that encourage it, the patriarchal society that supports it and the unequal power relations that fuels it.
We at Dinidari Foundation choose to challenge Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and we admonish you to join us.