By Ahmed Rahma
With the increase in cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the world, as well as in Nigeria, Access Bank ‘W’ Initiative organised a virtual webinar to discuss the issue to assist victims.
The event themed Tackling the menace of gender-based violence in our society was held in partnership with the Nigerian Governors Wives against Gender-Based Violence (NGWA-GBA).
It centred on the meaning and types of gender-based violence, contributing factors as well as how to respond, cope and ultimately put an end to the scourge.
GBV is the most pervasive yet least visible human rights violation in the world. It includes physical, sexual, mental or economic harm inflicted on a person because of socially ascribed power imbalances between males and females. It also includes the threat of violence, coercion and deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private.
Speaking on the reason the bank organised the webinar, the Group Head, ‘W’ Initiative at Access Bank, Ms Ayona Trimnell, explained that, “Violence against women is not just a Nigerian issue, just like the COVID-19, it has become a global pandemic.”
“Gender-based violence affects the physical and mental health, dignity and overall well-being of the victims, yet it remains masked in a culture of silence.
“For this reason, we, at Access Bank, through the
‘W’ Initiative have taken it upon ourselves to address this menace publicly and on a national scale. We also encourage victims to speak out and seek help,” she added.
The programme is also in line with the vision of the ‘W’ Initiative to create a society where sexual and gender-based violence is eradicated.
“We thank the NGWA-GBV and other stakeholders for partnering with us on our journey towards facilitating positive changes in our society,” Ms Trimnell further said.
The webinar featured notable guest speakers like the First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs Bisi Fayemi; her Kwara State counterpart, Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq; the founder of Cece Yara, Mrs Bola Tinubu, amongst others.
In her presentation, the founder of Women at Risk Foundation (WARIF), Mrs Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, outlined the major steps to handle GBV in minors, the red flags/signs to look out for in victims and also provided suggestions on where and how victims can seek help.
The speakers were unanimous in advising victims to speak up and encouraged continuous conversation on this menace to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.
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