The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Global Festival of Action, held on 25th and 26th March 2021, brought good tidings our way. First, the Director of STER, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, gave a very enlightening talk culminating in winning the UN SDG Action Award in the ‘Mobilize’ category.
This award was given in recognition of the STER initiative’s accomplishments in the prevention of sexual harassment and violence by educating and effecting a culture change and highlighting the massive extent of the problem that is sexual harassment.
“The United Nations Secretary-General established the UN SDG Action Campaign to bring people together from every part of the world to act on the SDGs and to hold decision-makers to account for progress.”
Since 2016, STER has been at the forefront of the fight against sexual violence in Nigeria. Famously STER, with other homogeneous Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), pushed for the passing of the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions Prohibition Bill 2016 that was before the 9th National Assembly of Nigeria. The bill was supported and backed by the profound BBC documentary that shook the nation “Sex for Grades” in 2019.
STER has also helped many victims of sexual violence by providing them with the medical, financial, legal and mental health resources needed to heal and bring the perpetrators to book. STER continues to engage young and older adults alike to eradicate sexual harassment and violence.
This recognition by the UN SDG Action Awards encourages us to continue to catalyse innovative programs and policies and further strengthen our resolve to strive against sexual violence and harassment till we get results and a working system.
We at STER believe that sustainable behavioural and systemic change and development is possible, and we look forward to it!