Sixteen year-old undergraduate of Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Favour Sajini, has emerged the winner of a virtual essay competition on gender-based violence recently organised by a nongovernmental organisation, Girls Inspired Africa (GIA).
The 100-level student came top in a keenly contested essay competition that involved 27 young girls aged between 11 and 17 years.
Writing on the topic, “Effective solutions to ending gender-based violence”, Miss Sajini beat 26 other contestants to emerge the winner. She also smiled home with the star prize of N50, 000.
Closely following Sajini was a 14-year-old SS1 student of Senior Model College, Kankon, Badagry, Lagos, Okunowo Adepeju, who went home with a cash prize of N30, 000. The third position which had a N20, 000 cash prize was clinched by Blessing Bolaji, a 17-year-old SS3 student of Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School, Lagos.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the organiser, Miss Adebukola Adeboye said the competition was aimed at creating awareness and advocacy on gender-based violence in the country, particularly among girls and women.
She noted that the competition promoted a more enlightened and literate community of girls, promoted issues relating to gender-based violence among girls, as well as developed writing skills in young girls, within the disadvantaged rural communities.
Adeboye also said the competition has helped to increase awareness around issues of gender-based violence for the 27 young girls, adding that such knowledge would help them to become advocates of the scourge.
Although the winner, Sajini could not attend the award event physically, she thanked the organizers for the opportunity, saying, she was inspired by the increasing rate of sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. “So, I saw the competition as a means to express my thoughts on the subject,” she said.
Adepeju who came second in the contest dedicated the award to her mother and her brother for inspiring her to enter into the competition. “Survivors need more care and counselling. They should be given financial and technical empowerment to move on with life and Women shouldn’t be limited to the kitchen,” she added.
Also, in her response, Bolaji revealed that an instance of gender-based violence in her community inspired her to take part in the competition, so that she could proffer possible solutions to the menace in the society.
One of the participants in the competition, Rose Adeoti, charged parents to always create an enabling environment to have a heart to heart discussion with their girl-child on a regular basis. She said such a step would be an opportunity for their wards to ease the hidden pains in their hearts.