Access Bank Plc., through its Access Women Network (AWN) in conjunction with Genesis House, a female residential rehabilitation and resource centre in Lagos, recently brought together stakeholders to ponder on how they can easily tackle the issues of human rights violation and sexual violence against women and girls during the 2019 edition of Genesis House’s Orange Lecture held at the Bank’s headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Now in its fifth year, the event aims at encouraging stakeholders to lend a voice to the efforts in tackling violence against women, and to support vulnerable, sexually-exploited females by providing information on rehabilitation and support services available to help them overcome their ordeals.
Genesis House, an offshoot of Freedom Foundation, has since its establishment in 2006, gradually expanded its programme, and is now structured to support vulnerable young women within the ages of 18 – 25 years’ old who have been sexually abused, exploited and trafficked.
Coordination Manager, Freedom Foundation, Adeshola Bello said the Orange lecture is an event put together in collaboration with Access Bank Plc to essentially support the United Nation 16 days of activism, which aims to end violence against women and girls.
“We put the event together to create a platform where different stakeholders are able to come and talk about the issues of gender based violence with our communities and Nigeria at large and then to proffer solutions to those that are providing supports and services to victims an those that are advocating for the prevention of violence against women.
“We bring them together to be able to share what they are doing in that regard and also to educate the general public on the issues of violence against women and how individuals can assist themselves and make themselves less vulnerable and in some other cases, for them to be able to identify people currently undergoing such abuses.
Bello revealed further that this year’s theme, “Generation Equality, Stand against Rape”, was informed by the need to ensure there was equality across board, for both girls and boys; women and men and for the organisation to be able to create an environment where one gender does not feel inferior to the other.
She said further that the Orange Lecture was also aimed at ensuring that members of the society are able to stand against abuse, especially women, particularly in Nigeria where there is this patriarchal system where men are meant to be look upon as more superior to women.
Speaking on Access Bank’s involvement, the Group Head, Treasury, Access Bank Plc., Sunmbo Olatunji said, “With our promise to offer ‘More Than Banking’, the Orange Lecture is an important platform that we have chosen to champion. The Access Women Network (AWN), has maintained a partnership with Genesis House, an arm of Freedom Foundation, to support their rehabilitation programs for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse”.
The Orange Lecture featured an engaging panel session, an insightful discussion with a sexual abuse survivor, Kikelomo Wole-Osho, and a goodwill message by Bola Tinubu, Founder of Cece Yara Foundation.