Lagos, Nigeria – July 16, 2021 – CSR-in-Action Advocacy, the charitable expression of one of sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost sustainability advocacy and consulting outfit, CSR-in-Action Group, has flagged off its campaign against Gender – Based Violence (GBV) and other social problems inhibiting women’s empowerment in Africa.
The campaign against GBV is part of the ‘SITEI-Woman’ project. Themed ‘Inclusive Communities, Empowered Women’, the project includes a series of initiatives targeted at empowering women within the extractive industries. SITEI-Woman is an offshoot of CSR-in-Action’s 10-year-old Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Initiative, which is aimed at fostering fiscal and social justice for communities with oil and gas and mining resources.
As part of the campaign, the sustainability-focussed outfit recently organized a workshop in collaboration with Spaces for Change, an organisation working to infuse human rights into social and economic governance processes, to empower rural women in Badagry, a riverine oil producing community in Lagos State, Nigeria, to tackle the menace.
GBV, considered by the United Nations as violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender, knows no social, economic or national boundaries, with women often bearing the brunt in most communities. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Violence against women is more prevalent in developing countries, where low literacy and high poverty levels have reduced women’s capacity to defend themselves. GBV is also a hindrance to achieving gender equality, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
According to Abosede Oluwakemi George, a representative of Lagos State’s office of SDGs and Social Investment, women often suffer severe difficulties in silence.
“It is time for them to rise and speak up about those challenges threatening to limit their progress, as well as their active contribution to society,” she said.
In Nigeria, like other developing countries, GBV remains a challenge that significantly constrains women’s autonomy and opportunities. The World Bank says 28 percent of women in the West African nation aged 15-49 have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence.
“In Africa, women have been largely excluded from the growth and the development opportunities given by extractive industries in communities, while being at the same time disproportionately vulnerable to many of the risks associated with them”, said Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive of CSR-in-Action.
“SITEI-Woman is aimed at tactfully questioning and reversing those norms that have culturally and systematically hampered women’s progress, starting from Nigeria,” she added.
SITEI-Woman initiatives include a radio drama series to raise awareness on GBV; an educative documentary on the challenges facing women in Nigeria’s turbulent extractive sector; a series of trainings for select government, community, company, civil society and media personnel on women security, gender-based violence and human rights best practices; and an expanded Community and Human Rights (CAHR) Awards, now Africa’s most inclusive celebration of outstanding individuals and organisations that have performed creditably in engaging their communities through equity, environmental awareness, poverty alleviation, education and the general promotion of human dignity.
Visit www.csr-in-action.org/sitei/sitei-woman for more information.
The CSR-in-Action Group is a conglomerate of three sustainability-driven businesses: Consulting, Training and Advocacy. Its mission is to redefine the sustainability terrain in Africa, through collaborative strategies with stakeholders aimed at attaining higher levels of corporate governance, workplace and sustainable philanthropy. The organisation has a clear vision to propel collective transformation in Africa by promoting responsibility amongst all ernes in their day-to-day individual or business activities.