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Centre organises workshop to curb gender-based violence

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Nigerians have been urged to champion efforts aimed at tackling violence against women and provide support to victims, to help them overcome their ordeals.

The call was made at the fifth edition of the Orange Lecture organised by Genesis House, a female residential rehabilitation and resource centre in Lagos in conjunction with Access Bank Plc.

The initiative brought together stakeholders to discuss how Nigerians can tackle the issues of human rights violations and sexual violence against women and girls.

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It was aimed at sensitising stakeholders to champion efforts in tackling violence against women, and to support vulnerable, sexually-exploited females by providing information on rehabilitation and support services available to help them to overcome their ordeals.

Genesis House, an offshoot of Freedom Foundation, has since its establishment in 2006 gradually expanded its programme, and is now structured to support vulnerable young women within the ages of 18 – 25 years who have been sexually abused, exploited and trafficked.

Speaking at the event in Victoria Island, Lagos, Coordination Manager, Freedom Foundation, Adeshola Bello said the Orange lecture was put together in collaboration with Access Bank to support the United Nations 16 days of activism, which aims to end violence against women and girls.

She said: “We bring them together to be able to share what they are doing in that regard, and also to educate people on the issues of violence against women and how individuals can assist themselves and be less vulnerable. And in some other cases, so that they would be able to identify people they know are currently undergoing these forms of abuse.

“At the Genesis House, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to helping women navigate through their trauma. Therefore, the programme is tailored to deliver specific solutions in an intensively-therapeutic and highly-supportive environment that provides physical, emotional and vocational support that they need to get their lives back on track”, she added.

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Bello revealed that this year’s theme, “Generation Equality, Stand Against Rape,” was informed by the need to ensure there was equality across board, for both girls and boys; women and men and for the organisation to be able to create an environment where one gender does not feel inferior to the other.

She said further that the Orange Lecture was also aimed at ensuring that members of the society are able to stand against abuse, especially women, particularly in Nigeria where there is this patriarchal system where men are meant to be looked upon as more superior to women.

“It is basically to educate the public on the need to have that gender equality across the board and to appreciate bother genders”, Bello added.

Group Head, Treasury, Access Bank Plc., Sunmbo Olatunji said: “With our promise to offer ‘More Than Banking’, the Orange Lecture is an important platform that we have chosen to champion. The Access Women Network (AWN), has maintained a partnership with Genesis House, an arm of Freedom Foundation, to support their rehabilitation programs for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.”

The event featured an engaging panel session, an insightful discussion with a sexual abuse survivor, Kikelomo Wole-Osho, and a goodwill message by Bola Tinubu, Founder of Cece Yara Foundation. The panelists at the lecture include Princess Olufemi-Kayode, Founder, Media Concern Initiative; Daniel Anatokola, Lagos Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); Olakunle Orebe, Gender Desk Officer, Police Gender Unit; and Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, Founder, ACTS Generation GBV, while media personality, Ayo Mario-Ese was the facilitator.

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