Sexual and Gender Based Violence is a multi-faceted phenomenon linked to economic, social and psychological issues and exacerbated by cultural and religious factors. Year 2020 will be a remembered as a year of the global pandemic – Covid 19 which not only led to loss of lives but surge in Sexual and Gender Based Violence making it to be referred to as the Shadow Pandemic. In recognition of this and in view of fact that Adolescents with Disabilities are not only vulnerable to Sexual and Gender Based Violence but are oftentimes due to their disabilities are not even aware that they are sexually violated. A major reason my team and I decided to train Adolescent Girls with Disabilities on Sexual and Gender Based Violence as well as on year 2015 Violence against Persons Prohibition Act especially in areas on how to recognize and report it in commemoration of 12 Days of Activism against Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
Boys with Disabilities were also trained on need to respect their peers, protect them and also to be Champions of Gender Equality as well as on Drug Misuse in-addition for both sexes to see themselves as future leaders irrespective of their disabilities.
Girls were also trained on Menstrual Hygiene Management and importance of being neat. With support from @AngelsSanitaryPad we were able to give out free sanitary pads to the Girls. Interestingly, Girls did not want Boys to be part of Menstrual training because they felt the Boys would make fun of them which I found very amusing.
Lastly, I was particularly shocked that persons in rural communities were not aware of 12 Days of Activism against Sexual and Gender Based Violence and do not see many archaic practices like Female Genital Mutilation as Violence against Women and Girls but as cultural practices handed down from their forefathers and needs to be continued.