• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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US collaborates with Hacey Health Initiative to tackle Gender-Based Violence

In a bid to tackle Gender-Based Violence, the United States Consulate in Lagos in partnership Hacey Health Initiative has created a platform that allows the girl child to discuss issues that affect them.
These and many more were some of the issues discussed at the screening of the sexual violence episode of the ‘Girls Table Talk Show’ which is part of the 16 days of activism celebration against gender-based violence.
 Themed ‘Generation equality stand against rape’, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
Speaking recently, Jennifer Foltz, deputy public affairs secretary of the Consulate, noted that the US is pleased to be a part of the programmes as it fits into its goal of putting an end to the issue of gender-based violence.
“It is a very important 16 days for us and it forms a part of our engagement with some of our alumni,” Foltz said in a statement.
“It is the priority of the US government to support women and respond to gender-based issues. It is not just a women issue; it is a human rights issue,” she said.
Similarly, Joe Okei-Odumakin, human rights activist and president, Women Arise said that in Nigeria, sexual violence is on the rise and if the country fails to take action, Nigeria will not make any progress.
“It breaks one’s heart to see that even those who suffer from sexual violence don’t speak up,” Okei-Odumakin said.
“When we can have young girls speak up, then we will be able to minimise the occurrence,” she further said.
“We use these 16 days of activism to condemn child marriage. It is another form of rape,” she added.
Rhoda Robinson, executive director, Hacey Health Initiative, said it is sad that Nigerians live in a society that finds pleasure in throwing the blame of sexual violence at the feet of the survivor.
“It is more than a human rights issue; it affects every part of our society. It is something that we need to stand together to stand against,” Robinson said.
“That is why Hacey Health Initiative, as an organisation is, working tirelessly to ensure the eradication of gender-based violence in our society,” she said.
Conceptualised and produced solely by teenage girls, the ‘Girls Table Talk Show’ is a web series designed to give teenage girls a platform to talk about what they want to talk about, however, they want it.
According to Robinson, the focus of the seven-episode series is to encourage girls to be a part of the discussion about issues that affect them.
The screening also featured a panel session where issues of sexual abuse, harassment, and teenage sexual violence were discussed.
The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December for the Human Rights Day.