The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-profit organisation leading the charge against gender based violence in Nigeria, held an advocacy March to raise awareness against Gender based Violence in Nigeria. This was in commemoration of the UN 16 Days of Activism for Gender Based Violence.
The march, tagged the "No Tolerance" was organised, following the on-going success of the "No Tolerance" advocacy campaign launched earlier in the year. The campaign saw celebrities like RMD, Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Funke Akindele and many more joined WARIF to say No Tolerance to sexual abuse and violence by posting short videos and pictures on their social media platforms.
The march held on the 7th of December, took off from Lekki Phase 1 across the Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge.
It was kicked off by the United States Consular General to Lagos, Madam Claire Pierangelo who stated that "Gender based violence is not a women's issue. It is a human rights issue that needs both men and women to contribute to its end.
"For this problem to end men must play a significant role and we are pleased to see that men are increasingly recognizing their responsibility to help end this scourge."
The First Lady of Lagos State was also ably represented by the Wife of the Attorney General of Lagos, Mrs. Olabisi Onigbanjo who commended WARIF for their efforts and reiterated the need for more awareness on rape and sexual violence.
The Founder of the organisation, Dr. Kemi DaSilva stated that "At WARIF, we believe that no single individual, organiation, foundation, or government can stop the epidemic of sexual violence; but by responding to the responsibility of tackling the problem as a collective, we each bring together our unique piece of the solution. We believe that participation in these collaborative efforts are critical in making our voices heard and to bringing an end to sexual violence in our society."
"Sexual violence affects all of our lives and the "No Tolerance" March was a chance for all men, women and children to say NO! to sexual violence in our communities", she noted.
She also stated that proceeds from the march would benefit survivors of rape and sexual violence who are offered assistance at the WARIF Centre, the Foundation's rape crisis center which provides immediate medical care, psychosocial counselling, legal aid, access to shelters and vocational skills training totally free of charge.
Also in attendance were the First Lady of Ogun State, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, The SSG, Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Gaji, The Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson as well as Nigerian Celebrities including Dakore Akande Egbuson, TY Bello, Lala Akindoju, Ego Boyo and Michelle Dede who raised their voices against rape and sexual violence in our communities.
Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 by Dr Kemi DaSilva Ibru MD; MPH in response to the high incidence of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking occurring amongst young girls and women across Nigeria. The Foundation was established to raise awareness and address the prevalence of this problem through the "WARIF Approach" - a unique holistic method of tackling Gender Based Violence through the development and implementation of a series of initiatives, targeting both the intervention/treatment of these affected women, as well as providing preventive measures in education and community service to reduce the high incidence.