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Global initiative against gender-based violence, WanderSafe Accord, launches in Nigeria

By Guardian Nigeria
25 November 2021   |   7:11 pm
In honour of the 30th birthday of the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and commencement of the UN Women’s ‘16 Days of Activism’, the WanderSafe Accord - a treaty committing international stakeholders to working together to end gender-based was launched and ratified in Sydney, Australia at a ceremony for media,…

In honour of the 30th birthday of the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and commencement of the UN Women’s ‘16 Days of Activism’, the WanderSafe Accord – a treaty committing international stakeholders to working together to end gender-based was launched and ratified in Sydney, Australia at a ceremony for media, dignitaries and guests including the Acting Ambassador to Australia, Mercy Clements.

The WanderSafe Accord reinforces the tenets outlined in the UN Secretary General’s UNite Campaign to End Violence Against Women to continue to advocate for survivors, assist with access to programs, fund necessary programs and collect data about the efficacy of actions taken to ‘act for equal’. The WanderSafe Accord commits signatories to act on the mandate reinforcing the 17th UN Sustainable Development Goal, Collaboration.

Created by UN Women members, Stephenie Rodriguez and Maria Calibo-Sales, The WanderSafe Accord was conceptualized in a collective initiative with Jozu for Women Inc (a private company), the Nigerian High Commission to Australia, and facilitated by WanderSafe Goodwill Ambassador to Africa, Ms. Inimfon Etuk, to deploy digital safety solutions and tools for at risk women and survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Nigeria.

In the initial pilot program, demonstrative of The WanderSafe Accord principles of first signatories, Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Project Alert Nigeria, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, Braveheart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI), and The Lagos State and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Team are working together to facilitate an Initiative that will document that use and impact of technology to reduce the number of incidences and the severity of domestic and sexual violence over the next ninety days.

The findings of the Impact Study will be released in February 2022.

To herald the advent of launch of the WanderSafe Accord, and in tandem with the UN’s #16Days of Activism, an online campaign #BeTheBeacon has enlisted more than 100 Global Goodwill Ambassadors who will amplify the key messages of collaboration, the demand to end domestic violence, child brides, rape, intimidation, and the need for men to take part an active and vocal role in taking the UN Women’s #HeforShe Pledge to ‘act for equal’ across social media.
Each one of the Goodwill Ambassadors have signed the Inaugural WanderSafe Accord, a covenant and commitment to continuing to work together to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in the spirit of the 17th UN SDG, Collaboration for the Goals, with an impetus on the WanderSafe Accord being a public declaration that signifies private and public spaces (work spaces, sporting places, retail environments, schools) that pledge to be free of gender based violence and by private citizens promising to work together until generation equality is achieved. More than 1000 people have already expressed an interest in signing the WanderSafe Accord registering at www.theWanderSafeAccord.com

“We’re grateful to the Nigerian High Commission for their assistance in facilitating this pilot program the enable us to work together to eradiate domestic and sexual violence exacerbated by COVID 19 and the Shadow Pandemic. We can work together to make a difference.”
“It’s time to spotlight the need for an institutional intra-cross border response to the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls and beyond that amplify the ways in which every citizen can take action in the quest for lasting solutions. As Founder She Forum Africa and Goodwill Ambassador for WanderSafe, I continue to lend my voice to this cause, and delighted with the partnership for the goals,” Ms. Inimfon Etuk.

For more information about the WanderSafe Accord, the Impact initiative for ending violence against women in Nigeria please contact Ms Inimfon Etuk, ini@sheforumafrica.com