Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER), a non-governmental organisation has reiterated its commitment to help individuals achieve gender equality, as it emerge winner of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Action award in the mobilise category.
STER won the award for ‘The Sexual Harassment Project’, which encourages large numbers of individuals and organisations to achieve the SDG Goal 5 (Gender equality) by fostering a safe society for women and girls within educational institutions; whilst building coalitions across communities and cultures.
“We are very proud of our accomplishment and very aware that we are yet to win the battle. We would continue to push and advocate for better policies that protect every Nigerian from being harassed or sexually abused,” said Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, the executive director of STER.
According to Osowobi, the open call for submission received over 2,000 initiatives submitted to the three application categories from over 140 countries. While 21 judges from across sectors and countries reviewed the entries submitted, assessing overall impacts and approaches and gauging the initiatives’ potential to be replicated and scaled up.
The Action award was presented at this year’s virtual UN SDG ceremony by Lysa John, Secretary-General of CIVICUS to Funmi Ayeni, the director of research, M&E and learning at STER.
STER collaborated with the BBC Africa Eye to engage in an investigative documentary to highlight the spate of sexual harassment in Nigeria and has continued to facilitate engagements with legislators on capacity-building for students within tertiary institutions.
This project’s success has led to the passing of the Sexual Harassment Bill of 2019 by the Nigerian Senate, which puts STER as a frontline responder and has aided in a broader, sustainable and long-lasting impact.
The sexual harassment project empowers, sensitises, and pushes legislation to protect students, who happen to be most vulnerable to sexual harassment in Nigeria, from being abused.