For the past two weeks, we have had people talking about the #HearMeToo movement and we decided to join in and we got a couple of interesting line up of activities on our  social media platform.

Today, we have Daniel share a story to add his voice to the HearMeToo movement as the campaign comes to an end.

 In July 2018, I was on my way to the airport to get on a flight to Brazil. The weather was fine, the birds singing happily and everyone driving on the road seemed to be sane and happy. My dad turned the radio knob trying to find a radio station airing a nice program. This is where the sensitization began.

The chosen station had the OAP interviewing a lady (sadly I didn’t take note of her name because I didn’t expect what happened next). The topic was Female Genital Mutilation. I had had few discussions about this issue but the guest did justice to the topic. She started by introducing herself and speaking about the work she does and why it was important. She then vividly described what exactly FGM was.

Here’s the picture she painted, “So imagine a girl between the ages of 5-14 years being laid down on a table, very scared of the pain she’s about to go through. She is surrounded by aged and other community women who really don’t care about this because they probably went through the same system also. They urge her harshly to comport herself and ensures  she’s doing the right thing for herself, family and future husband.

There are no painkillers to be found. Nothing to make her drift off while this inhumane act goes on. She is wide awake. Watching under restrains. Her heart is racing faster than a horse. The supposed native surgeon who is a self-acclaimed midwife brings out the blades she just used for the previous victim. That is even a nice option for her because some go as far as using broken bottles or glass and knives to operate on their victims”.

After some minutes the process is completed after lots of struggle, pain and shouting. She has been stripped of what makes her a woman. Her major source of pleasure has been forcefully taken away in a bid to cut down on promiscuity. She suffers swellings and some complications for a few months and it heals up. Along the line, many other issues such as difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, chronic pain, the development of cysts, an inability to get pregnant, complications during childbirth, and fatal bleeding come up. There are no known health benefits.

Hearing this story made my body itch so badly, I almost jumped out of the car. I had clear pictures of the whole process in my head and it scarred me for weeks. This is the story of over 200 million women and girls in 27 African countries; Indonesia; Iraqi Kurdistan; and Yemen (as of 2016). No one should be put through such evil. Something has to be done.

Now that you are aware, the next thing is to join the movement to put an end to it. This can happen only through powerful activism and proper sensitization of affected communities. Change can only happen when we come together for a single cause. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. FGM is one of such violence and with your help: shares, actions and positive comments we can save the happiness of many more.

My name is Daniel Odediran and I urge you to Make a difference today.

#Orange the World



Abena is a graduate of the University of Cape Coast and currently a graduate student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She is a young people’s development activist and also has a social enterprise called Benewaa, it’s a clothing line that does advocacy through customized caps, t-shirts, sweaters and cardigans.

She believes that prioritizing the social, economic and political development of women and girls is fundamental to the development of any society. She thrives on fighting entrenched toxic societal norms and practices that hinder the full development and participation of women especially in matters that directly affect them.

Abena has a special interest in women and girls in rural communities. To her, rural women and girls face double the challenges their counterparts in the urban communities face. Challenges such as rape, domestic violence, harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation, early and child marriages among others. Most parts of her childhood were spent between a rural community and a fishing community where girls had little or no aspirations and had no role models except the older women in their communities who themselves were usually domestic farmers, petty traders and fishmongers.

This is what gave birth to her project called “YEBETUMI“.

Yebetumi, means ‘We Can’. It was founded in 2015 and it is targeted at mentoring and providing skills training in rural communities for girls, they provide mentoring, sexual reproductive health and rights education, consent and body autonomy workshops and grooming. Their goal is to inspire in girls the motivation to aim high, pursue higher education and careers, to see themselves as capable of more and also be conscious of the control they have over their own bodies. For the women, the goal is to give them financial literacy and independence. She usually does these training in partnership with other organizations, they join PTA meetings to educate parents on the need to prioritize the education of their daughters.

Abena’s dream is to create a society where systems and structures provide avenues for women and girls to fully develop their potentials and are given equal opportunities to explore and meaningfully engage in their society.

Keep up the good work Abena!. You are celebrated now and always.



The concept of Hema Foundation started in 2015 but the foundation was officially registered as a not for profit organization in Kenya on March 2018.

Hema was founded by four doctors who were classmates in Medical school at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. They are all currently involved in different spheres of medicine; Dr. Borna Nyaoke-Anoke is a public health specialist who is currently involved in clinical research, Dr. Roselyne Okello is a Radiologist resident at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences  in Tanzania, Dr. Nida Okumu is an infectious disease resident and working at one of the largest pediatric hospitals in Kenya and Dr. Achieng Aling is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist.

In the different spheres of their work they were faced with the same recurring health issue, lack of access to equitable, quality healthcare to the most vulnerable of populations. In this, they identified women and children, and within that targeted girls who are 17 years old and younger who mostly under very desolate circumstances, including rape and incest become pregnant and have no access to quality ante-natal and post-natal care or socio-economic support post-delivery.

They have been able to conduct educational talks for young girls focusing on empowerment, reproductive health, and choices they have including rights for their bodies, how to respond to physical and sexual abuse and increasing their awareness and accessibility to careers in STEM. Additionally, they have conducted health screening activities and are planning medical camps in the lower socio-economic urban areas of Nairobi. Long-term they intend to collaborate with partners who have the same objectives as Hema in bridging health gaps, especially in marginalized communities. They also intend to promote maternal and child health through health talks, nutrition camps, water and sanitation programs.

Hema Foundation is convinced all these can be achieved by working with a dedicated team of individuals and partners who are keen to see a positively progressing economy through a healthy nation and tenacious, empowered women thus securing our future for generations to come.

We celebrate the great work you are doing in Nairobi, Kenya.

Well done HEMA Foundation!



 As we move on in the 21st century, there are issues around Gender and Development that need more attention and deeper interrogation. It is obvious that there is inadequate involvement of youths and because of these there is sustainability risk in the struggle and emancipation of women and this makes the intergenerational linkage very weak.

It is interesting to note that all gender-related problems are not about women but there is a general misconception that it is about women. As a result of this, men are being left out consciously and unconsciously in programs, activities and activism relating to gender equality and how to deal with problems associated with it.

Given that, society privileges men and conversations around gender equality has been framed around increasing access to women rather than being about equal access. Furthermore, gender equality has had the tendency to be understood as activism rather being a gap in literature, development work and policy. Consequently, these conversations have seen men become defensive or would rather not want to be part of the conversation.

It is thus obvious that the gap gender analysts and activists need to bridge is the involvement or integration of both genders into program designs, policy designs and initiatives that are championed by international organizations and national governments.

It is these gaps that InOurHands Initiative intends to use as the focus of our interventions and activities with special emphasis on reconstruction of the mindset on issues relating to gender and development beginning with our immediate community and then to national and international level.

Written by:  Ms. Orejesu Ajayi (Founder, In our hands initiative)


Oluwatobi Emmanuel Aigbogun popularly known as “The Guy Behind the Scene” is a New Media Specialist, Business Development Specialist, Girl Child Education Advocate, Visionary Member of the Global Citizen Foundation and a Certified Diplomat. He is the Co-founder of a United Nations backed Social Enterprise (Social Good Lagos) using New Media and Technology to address the Sustainable Development Goals.

He was recently appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador for Education by “A world at School” headed by Mrs Sarah Brown ( wife of former UK Prime Minister). A graduate of History and International Studies from the Lagos State University with certificates in Investigative Journalism in the New Media age from the University of Austin, Texas as well as Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economy from Harvard University. He is currently studying Religion, Peace and Conflict at Harvard University.

He has spent over 8 years in the New Media space and has worked for Brands and Organization like the Commonwealth Africa Initiatives, United Nations, Master card Foundation, Oscars and Grammy Awards. He’s currently the Executive Head of Business Development at an Oil Servicing Company in Lagos Nigeria.

A pioneering member of the Plus Social Good Community with great passion for using New Media in addressing the World problems. He is so passionate about Bringing Change and Development to His Community and has organized UN-backed events in Lagos, Nigeria addressing Vital issues like Women Empowerment, Sustainable development Goals and drive Online conversations to address issues relating to Climate change and Youth Participation in Governance.

Well done! Oluwatobi keep up the good work.

Gender Equality and Economic Growth in South Africa.

This week on our echoes from around the world we are looking at South Africa.

Even though South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa, they still face gender equality issues.

When women live below the poverty line and are unable to work or contribute socially it prevents the economy from reaching its highest potential.

Gender Equality reflects in every sector of the economy. For example, a World Bank research shows that 37% of women in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa have a bank account compared to 48% of men. In the absence of genuine intervention, this gender gap will continue to widen in many African countries.

In South Africa in the area of technology, the number of females that graduate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related degrees is still very low. The reason for this is due to the fact that there is a huge wage gap and discrimination against female STEM graduates. We also know that they are not well recognized for their jobs, as well as their contributions to  the growth of their companies and the economy.

We also see women in the agricultural sector in South Africa suffer a great deal of inequality when it comes to  access to finance as well as agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, water and transportation to and from the markets and farms. This has resulted in majority of the women  engaging in subsistence farming due to limited access to resources and technical assistance.

In general, inadequate female representation in the workplace as well as in leadership positions continues to be a barrier to Gender Equality in South Africa. Economists have observed that a 10% reduction in gender gap in both representation and payroll will alleviate poverty for low income earners, which in return helps to boost the economic growth of South Africa. This is also in line with the observation of the chief Economist of PWC  Africa, Lullu Krugel who said: “Enormous economic opportunity lies in promoting gender workforce equality”. This should be the new focus of African Governments and the Africa Union Commission (AUC) as we move towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

Written by Orejesu Ajayi



This week on our Echoes from around the world, we will be kicking off with Kenya’s lets talk campaign popularly known as TUONGEE.

Gender-based violence has become a major threat to global development. According to the World Health Organization, about one third of women worldwide have experienced violence. There is an increased risk of HIV when the violence is from an intimate partner.

In Kenya, a recent study found that 32% of young women aged 18–24 years and 18% of their male counterparts experience sexual violence before the age of 18. Gender-based violence reduces the bargaining power to negotiate safer sex, stay on treatment or remain in school. In 2013, statistics gotten by the police service in Kenya showed that 3,596 defilement cases; 913 of rape and 242 of incest. The shocking part is that girls living with disabilities are not left out of this violence as the perpetrators do not allow them go scot free.

In other to end gender-based violence in Kenya, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), together with the Kenya Medical Women’s Association and the Kenya Women Judges Association, and partners, launched the Tuongee (Let’s Talk) Campaign on 25th of May 2018 at an event hosted by Nicolas Nihon, the Ambassador of Belgium to Kenya and UNFPA.

Speaking at the launch, Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, said, “Gender-based violence and HIV are linked epidemics. If we are to deal with it, we must address the structural barriers that drive violence.” He spoke about the need to equip young women with the skills and capacities to make informed decisions about their health and underscored the critical importance of engaging boys and men early to change behaviors and challenge norms that allow gender-based violence to persist.

Written by Orejesu Ajayi

Source: UNAIDS


Adebukola Olowoyeye


Adebukola  Olowoyeye  is a certified leadership coach, with a major focus on leadership, strategy and influence. He holds a Bsc in Business Management from the University of Ado Ekiti.

For him, starting Gold Minds Leadership Initiative which was founded in July 2014 was born out of curiosity and hunger for a better nation,To stand out with positive energy and to also change the mind set of those around from the regular negative comments and reactions from citizens as regards their country, to becoming part of the Africa’s solution. He has identified the biggest challenge in Africa which is LEADERSHIP and has decided to help the younger generation from high school level using different tools and topic ranging from teenage pregnancy awareness, drug abuse education and  health related issues  through his mental Re-engineering school projects across Nigeria.

Because of his passion, He has been able to team up with other professionals from lawyers to doctors to bankers and people from different ethnicity and religious background to help build a better nation and also be a solution to Africa’s problem.

In the first year, he started with a vision and he kept acting on those projects and sharing the vision with anyone who cared to listen without giving up. By the second year, he got it registered and his first support came from family and friends and since then they have been able to reach out to over 20 public schools in Nigeria.As well as start up branches in different parts of the world.

They  also help students  with financial issues by giving them materials such as  mathematical sets, school uniforms, books, writing materials to help them through school. They give out leadership certificate to academically deserving students in all public schools that they visit, just to remind them that the society still rewards the values of hard work and perseverance.

We celebrate your great work and this is just the starting point!



Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is a graduate of Development Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations with specialization in Gender Studies from Swansea University, United Kingdom. She started her advocacy work by interning at the United Nations Headquarters, New York and Half the Sky Movement where she wrote articles on women, girls, children and social justice.

She is a 2018 Women Deliver, Rise Up for Change and Vital Voices Women Lead Fellow. Oluwaseun has worked as a project manager for Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE). She is currently the Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER); under her leadership,  STER Initiative won an award for the Best Use of Social Media by an NGO in Africa at the 2014 Social Media Awards, Africa.


Oluwaseun’s story is filled with pain, hope and survival.  Having survived sexual violence, her story became a message for other women and a voice to her generation with a dedication to break the silence on sexual violence, help survivors speak up and ensure victims of gender-based violence can receive adequate and holistic support. She has dedicated her energy to a cause that seeks to ensure perspectives and narratives that contribute to gender-based violence, while enlightening our communities on the need to end gender inequality as a bedrock for violence against women and girls.

Her advocacy also touches issues on education, HIV/AIDS, Mental health, female genital mutilation and teenage pregnancy to name a few.

Did we forget to mention that through her hard work, she has bagged quite a number of awards among which is the 2017 Future Awards Africa Prize for Advocacy and fellowship and was currently named as one of the inaugural Obama Foundation Leaders Africa Fellowship.

Well done Oluwaseun Osowobi, We celebrate your strength and great work.


Meet Samuel Onyemachi, The coordinator of Fight Against Molestation (FAM).

Samuel Onyemachi is a Teens/ Youth counselor/Life coach, a business developer/ Marketing expert and business consultant with the Principal of SENSE Leadership Academy. He is also the CEO of Psalmz Consulting .

He is a devoted Christian, a God crazy individual who sees Christ as his role model. He believes the love of Christ is what propels him to do all that he does and he has a vision to help people know Christ for themselves so as they can live the life he wants them to live.

According to him,

“The society we live in today, is one which has not been love oriented, so lust rules and the sexual desires of many has been awakened. Their urges having surpassed their humanity, puts the physical, social and mental lives of both the boy child and girl child at risk if they fall victim of these people.”


This was his driving force for the creation of FAM, which is to curb these practices before it becomes a culture, creating awareness, and assisting the victims through the process of rehabilitation.

He is one who in the last decade has been out in the field of life, trying to play his part in the building of humanity. He has been regular in private and public schools, churches and even on the street on a weekly basis reaching out to hundreds of teenagers with the message of hope, purpose, love and togetherness.

We celebrate you Samuel for your great work as a social impact leader.

Congratulations on being our #MCM for the week. Keep up the good work!!!!

We are a youth-led non-governmental organisation set out to advancing human rights, advocating for gender equality, enhancing quality education through policy and developmental strategies.

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