Promoting gender equality is significant in improving and emphasizing humanity which is an important aspect of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is a basic human right that cuts across other significant areas in the society.
Research shows that Nigeria ranks 122 out of 144 countries in its efforts towards increasing participation and expanding opportunities for women according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap report. Although women make up 49% of the Nigerian population, they are under-represented in the economy, governance, finance, etc. The average Nigerian woman is subjected to a host of discriminatory traditional and socio-cultural practices that put them at disadvantage in a number of areas compared to men.
At The Sapphires Development Initiative (TSDI), we believe being male or female should not stop you from achieving greatness. Hence, we advocate for gender equality in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (UN SDG 5). We advocate for equal opportunities, equal access to resources, equal empowerment, equal participation in the economy and politics, and equal chances at living the best for life for all genders.
Accordingly, as a means to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, the United Nations Women holds an annual event campaign that kicks off on the 25th of November every year and runs until 10 December. This international event is to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Furthermore, in support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE Campaign), launched in 2008, is a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls (VAWG) around the world calling for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy and create opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions.
The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, is “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”. As in previous years, the colour orange will be used to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through all the global activities of the UNiTE Campaign. It is worthy to note that the COVID-19 pandemic verified how unfit different societies were in response to the increased and unexpected challenge Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) brings to light. If we want to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind, we need comprehensive and inclusive approaches that can be adapted to rapidly changing contexts, preventing and responding to all forms of VAWG.
In the UN women’s concept note, they stated that The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) and the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are building a powerful global movement based on multilateralism and are mobilizing governments, CSOs, international organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to deliver transformational progress towards the elimination and prevention of GBV through four concrete actions:
- Creating enabling policy, legal and resource environments;
- Scaling up evidence- driven prevention programming;
- Scaling up comprehensive, accessible and quality services for survivors; and
- Enabling and empowering autonomous girl-led and women’s rights organizations to exercise their expertise.
According to UNiTE’s report; This year’s global campaign theme “Orange the World: END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NOW!” will mobilize all UNITE networks, civil society and women’s rights organizations, the UN system, the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence, government partners, schools, universities, private sector, sports clubs and associations and individuals to:
- Advocate for inclusive, comprehensive, and long-term strategies, programmes, and resources to prevent and eliminate VAWG in public and private spaces prioritizing the most marginalized women and girls.
- Amplify the success stories demonstrating that VAWG is preventable by showcasing effective strategies and interventions to inspire all actors to scale up what works.
- Promote the leadership of women and girls in their diversity and their meaningful participation in policy-making and decision-making from global to local levels.
- Engage Generation Equality Forum commitment makers in your country or region to collaborate in the implementation of bold new commitments and to inspire further action to deliver progress on the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition Blueprint.
In conclusion, and in support of the UNiTE initiative, we at The Sapphires Development Initiative are raising the awareness of ORANGE THE WORLD! No one must be left behind, all-gender has an equal right to being treated humanly, and all survivors should be empowered. Achieving gender equality is one of our key tenets we are highly dedicated to achieving.
So, yes!!! Everyone matters!!!
LET’S GO ORANGE THE WORLD!!!