The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign which kicks off on November 25 every year, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and climaxes on December 10, the global Human Rights Day. The event started in 1991 by activists during the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute and is coordinated every year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The aim is to organize strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
The 2020 UNiTE campaign anniversary with the theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”, has kicked off beautifully and energetically in Ondo state by a collaboration between the Office of the Wife of the Governor, the Ministry of Women Affairs and the Ministry of Education. Two key events stand out in the collaborative efforts of the Wife of Ondo state Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu: The launch of the Ondo state SGBV Yellow Card Initiative and the establishment of an SGBV Emergency Response Center with Toll free numbers.
The Yellow Card Programme was officially launched today November 25, 2020 and is aimed at eliminating all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) among girls attending public secondary schools in Ondo state. It has 3 strategic objectives: Raise awareness on SGBV among young girls, instill a protective perception on the girls and increase confidential reporting of cases of SGBV. The Yellow Card in itself is an intervention card designed in analogy with the football yellow card, which is often used to caution players and prevent violence in the game. The pilot phase of the programme includes an SGBV survey and will see 2000 young girls randomly selected from 10 public schools in Ondo state receive a copy each of the SGBV Yellow Card. So far, three schools namely Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure Secondary Commercial School and Ijo Mimo-Oluwa High school, all located in Akure South Local Government Area (LGA) have benefitted from the programme. The management and students of the schools received the initiative with utmost excitement and hoped that Yellow Cards received by their students will be immediately put to use and also serve as a deterrent to SGBV predators in the State. The pilot continues tomorrow in Akure North and Owo as part of the United Nations 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The scale up however, is expected to reach out to all public secondary schools in Ondo state.
The Ondo state SGBV Emergency Response Center on the other hand has consistently been a link between the community and government in efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls. It connects callers with emergency medico-legal support as well as security and policing in relation to SGBV. As part of the success stories, today also saw the effective handling of a case of domestic violence from Owo LGA. This will be the second case of domestic violence resolved by the center in less than a month with support from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
The Wife of the Governor remains committed to ending all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in Ondo state and will continue to engage both government agencies, international organizations and private individuals to achieve this goal. She therefore uses the opportunity of the occasion of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence to call on all and sundry in Ondo state to join in the fight to ensure the protection of women and girls.