In response to the rising cases of gender-based violence in Nigeria and across the world, Access Bank’s ‘W’ Initiative, in collaboration with the Nigerian Governors Wives Against Gender-Based Violence (NGWA-GBV), has organised a virtual webinar on ‘Tackling the menace of gender-based violence in our society’.
The webinar featured notable guest speakers such as, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the First Lady of Ekiti State; Dr. Olufolake Abdulrazaq, the First Lady of Kwara State; Mrs Bola Tinubu, the Founder, Cece Yara Foundation and Dr. Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, the Founder, Women at Risk Foundation(WARIF).
The virtual interaction was in line with the vision of the ‘W’ Initiative to create a society where sexual and gender-based violence is eradicated, and the conversation focused on the meaning and types of gender-based violence, contributing factors as well as how to respond, cope and ultimately put an end to the scourge.
It was noted that there has been increased awareness of the issue while violence-prevention programmes have been attempted in low-resource settings, but social norms and beliefs still posed a major challenge to ending gender-based violence in the society.
Speaking on the rationale behind the Bank’s drive against sexual and gender-based violence, the Group Head, ‘W’ Initiative at Access Bank , Ayona Trimnell said, violence against women was, not just a Nigerian issue; it has become a global pandemic, like COVID-19. She noted that gender-based violence affects the physical and mental health, dignity and overall well-being of the victims, yet it remains masked in a culture of silence. For this reason, she said, “We at Access Bank, through the ‘W’ Initiative, have taken it upon ourselves to address this menace publicly and on a national scale. We also encourage victims to speak out and seek help.”
She thanked the NGWA-GBV and other stakeholders for partnering with the bank on our journey towards facilitating positive changes in the society.
The speakers also outlined the major steps to handle gender-based violence in minors, the red flags/signs to look out for in victims and also provided suggestions on where and how victims can seek help. They further encouraged continuous conversation on this menace to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.
The ‘W’ Initiative offers bank products and services packaged to effectively meet the present-day financial and lifestyle needs of women and the ‘W’ Community – an offshoot of the ‘W’ Initiative – is the number one online community for women to share information, network and enjoy privileges that enhance their lifestyle.