Cultivate speak-up culture to tackle GBV, WEADI tells victims

As part of activities to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Women Education Advocacy and Development Initiatives (WEADI) has called on victims of gender-based violence to cultivate the speak-up culture to address the societal menace.

The executive-director WEADI, Dr Regina Omo-Agege, made the appeal on Friday in Abuja, during a press briefing by the group to commemorate this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

This year’s theme is “Unite! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.

Omo-Agege urged victims of gender-based violence to cultivate a speak-up culture that reverberates in our communities and empowering survivors while dismantling the foundations of gender-based violence

She said stressed that the exercise, taking place at a crucial juncture in the ongoing battle for a safer, more just world, the theme underscores the urgent need for unity and investment to create lasting change.

“We must unite, she said, “across borders, disciplines, and backgrounds, recognizing that the fight against gender-based violence requires a collective efforts.

“Only through unity can we amplify our impact and dismantle the structures that perpetuate violence against women and girls.

“Investment, she went on, “both financial and emotional, is a cornerstone in our quest for violence-free society. This investment must extend beyond monetary contributions; it should involve dedicating time, energy and resources to education, awareness, and support systems.

“By investing in preventive measures, we lay the foundation for a future where every woman and girl can live free from the shadows of violence.

“However, our investment must not stop at societal changes; it must reach the very heart of our communities.

The essence of this year’s theme is a call to action at the grassroot level.

“To truly prevent violence, we must foster a culture that empowers individuals to speak up against abuse. It is not enough to address the aftermath, we must equip our communities with the tools to detect, prevent, and confront violence head-on.

“Creating a speak-up culture is pivotal in this endeavors. We must encourage victims to break the silence that often shroud their pains; our communities should be safe spaces where survivors feel heard, supported, and empowered to share their experiences without fear of judgement or reprisal.

“It is only by breaking the silence that we can expose the roots of gender-based violence and work together to uproot them”.

“To achieve this, she went further, education emerges as a powerful tool. We must educate our communities about the insidious nature of gender-based violence, dispelling myths and stereotypes that perpetuate harmful behaviors.

“By fostering a comprehensive understanding of the issues, we can challenge ingrained beliefs and cultivate a society that rejects violence in all of it’s forms.

“As advocates for a violence-free world, we must unite in our commitment and invest in the well-being and safety of every woman and girl. Through our collective efforts, we can pave the way for a future where every individual, regardless of gender, can thrive without the shackles of fear,” she said.

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