A group, De Voice Life Builders Foundation, in partnership with the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund at the weekend engaged many young girls and sensitised on the Gender-based Violence (GBV) issues using football to drive home their message.
As part of event marking 16 days of activism against GBV, the Foundation hosted up to five female teams in Abuja in a novelty match.
The teams are Gwako FC of Gwagwalada Area Council, Great Babes FC of Kuje, Almond Babes FC of Kuchigoro, GNFA Queens FC of Dutse and Jesus-Pikin FC of Lugbe.
At the final of the event, Chairman of the Foundation, Adewale Samson, said the idea behind sports as a veritable tool is to creating awareness on the menace of GBV.
He said the campaign against GBV can not be overemphasised, especially violence against women, with specific attention to the girl-child.
He said the idea of using sports to sensitize the society on the menace of GBV was a welcome development and one sure and effective way of raising awareness about the menace.
“As a foundation, we are campaigning against GBV due to the increasing number of such cases in the FCT.
“We are focusing on the trenches in the FCT, such as Kuchigoro and the likes because these are the areas where such cases are prevalent.
“We penetrate these places by paying courtesy visits to their traditional rulers to sensitize them and also create awareness about GBV by organising a football match.
“We also use the opportunity to have interactions with the indigenes and let them see reasons why they must not be involved in GBV.
“This is why today you can see all the girls here from five communities participating in this football tournament,” he said.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of the foundation, Itunuoluwa Abolirinwa, said it was imperative to use female sports icons for the campaign to counter certain unfounded beliefs over women’s involvement in sports-related activities.
“The major takeaway from this event is to show that the girl-child is very important in our society and must not let anyone look down on them.
“For instance, if you take a look at recent happenings in society today, you will notice that the women are taking the lead in major sectors of the economy and making a lot of remarkable achievements.
“So, we are saying to the girls here that if people like Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, Joke Silva, Blessing Okagbare and the likes can make an impact in their various fields of endeavor, they too can achieve even much more,” she said.
A representative of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Saminu Dogo, hailed the organisers for their efforts in projecting the place of the girl-child in the society, adding, “It is indeed a very impressive and creative event geared towards amplifying the rights of women and girls in the society.
“For me, it is an initiative that can even achieve more than it intends to because I have seen great talents on the football pitch today.
“These girls are the future Oshoalas, Ajibades, and I can tell that they will have a bright and great career in the sport.
“So, what De Voice Life Builders Foundation is quite impressive and they should be encouraged.
“The NOA is open to working with them for future programmes of this nature and even creating more avenues where we can talk about GBV and the rights of the girl-child,” he said.
According to the United Nations, the global 16 Days of Activism against GBV is a key international moment to call for an end to violence against women and girls. It runs from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10th December, Human Rights Day.