HACEY, US Consulate, Access Bank Launch End Rape Campaign

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Mary Nnah

A development organisation focused on improving the health and productivity of the vulnerable in Nigeria, HACEY Health Initiative, recently announced the launch of her End Rape Culture Campaign.

This was done with the support of the United States Consulate and Access Bank under the 16 Days Activism which commenced November 25, 2020 and ran till December 10, 2020.

The launch, which witnessed series of activities to campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV), began with the commemoration of the international Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Wednesday November 25, 2020.

Other relevant days such as World AIDS Day, December 1, 2020 and International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2020 were commemorated in the course of the campaign.

The HACEY Health Initiative featured discussions on various themes such as, Accelerating the Impact of GBV and also HIV interventions.

Led by a league of experts, the event also featured the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Women Radio and Other Specialists on HIV/AIDS and GBV. In tandem to these event, there was a 16 Day of Activism Media Exhibition tagged “End Rape Culture”.

An End Rape Culture photo, video and Art Exhibition aimed at inspiring attendees to disengage from the culture of rape, promote and embrace consent.

According to the Executive Director HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, “the year 2020 has stretched our work in reducing the incidence of GBV in Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The harmful practice of Gender- Based Violence has skyrocketed due to the lockdown and the loss of jobs in many homes. Nevertheless we will not relent.

“Therefore, this year, we are leveraging on the power of Media, Arts and Technology to reach more people and to influence a positive change in our society. We hope to inspire a consent culture through our work”.

In a bid to mitigate the spread and adverse effects of GBV, aligned with the purpose of HACEY Health Initiative the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence sheds light on the harms of GBV and proffers better agencies to manage gender based relationships without the occurrence of violence.

While speaking at the Forum on Media Action against Sexual Violence through a virtual presentation; the US Consul General to Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo disclosed the pleasure of the US Mission in Nigeria to support the newly launched ENDRAPE culture website www.endrapeculture.africa, a brainchild of Hacey Health Initiative which is also a beneficiary of the US government’s alumni Engagement Innovation Fund grant.

In identifying the need for the website, she said, “Spotlighting this important policy priority is a cornerstone of the United States commitment to advancing human rights, promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

“The scale of Gender-based Violence is tremendous, the scope is vast and the consequences for individuals, families, communities, and countries are devastating.

“Gender-based violence significantly hinders the ability of all individuals to fully participate in and contribute to society and threaten the health of families and communities economically, politically, and socially.”