Women thrive on being beautiful and resourceful. Our beauty is more than skin deep and the wide array of attributes we possess have enabled us to survive countless obstacles. Our ubiquitous influence is felt across every facet of society. We are trendsetters; our flair and allure timeless and often brazen. The image is everything. The female who has had to endure the hurt of a violent attack can relate to this enduring statement of fact.
Every minute 7 girls will experience sexual violence in Nigeria – WARIF
Changing the perceptions of the perpetrators of violence towards girls is an urgent need and in WARIF we know time is vital. This is the blueprint that has shaped the last 1.2 million minutes spent by WARIF and dedicated supporters of this worthy cause. We have invested time in redefining the image of girls and women. One woman and one story at a time, we have listened, reflected, invested, empathised, advocated and become the voice of one of the most vulnerable groups in our communities. The journey has been as poignant as it has been exciting. Changing the narrative for women in our modern society is crucial to our generation. WARIF has become the voice of the voiceless girls and women who face social isolation and a higher risk of poor mental health due to the pervasive exposure to violence. We long to see all females flourish in our generation and time.
“By investing in women, children and adolescents today, and over the next 15 years, we can save a generation, within a generation — while benefiting many more to come. But the opportunity and responsibility to act belongs to us, now.”
– AMINA MOHAMMED. United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning
Culture and social norms have shaped the evolution and acceptance of behaviour that promotes violence in our society. Over time, because of early exposure to violence, women have borne the brunt of negative outcomes creating an imbalance of immeasurable dimensions thereby increasing the inequalities that we face. WARIF is working with institutions, professionals, community champions, the public, survivors, role models, policymakers and a host of key players to rebuild the positive image of being a woman. Creating an endemic consciousness in our modern society that every women or girl has the fundamental human right to live a life free from violence or abuse. It is our social responsibility to increase the contribution of every citizen into the plight of girls and women who are often ensnared insidiously; unaware of the risk. We are committed to investing our time in proliferating a new ideology about the female gender and eliminating the paradox of being a female who is considered vulnerable yet continually violated because of this vulnerability. We need to understand the root causes and contributory factors so we can support both the survivor and the perpetrator. Our founder Dr Kemi DaSilva-Ibru is a visionary and an advocate of women’s health who is devoted to embedding and reinforcing a positive image about girls and women into our communities and wider society. She has inspired innumerable initiatives in various settings including educational institutions, media, corporate and commercial sometimes using the voice of survivors to deliver impactful life-changing messages. When a girl or woman is violated an image is created, with time, that image becomes a scar. Scars are putting our women and girls at risk and this risk is creating an imbalance. WARIF is shaping society by raising awareness and this takes time as we are discovering.
You can find out more about WARIF at www.warifng.org
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Celebrating Women’s Month #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019