Let your voice be heard because your voice counts. Human rights are rights inherent to human beings regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status. Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) violates this right. It denies human dignity of individuals and hurts human development.

What is SGBV? According to UNHCR, it refers to the act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. SGBV has been perpetrated by some of the very people whom we entrust with the task of protecting us or people well known to us. It encompasses threats of violence and coercion. It emanates from an individual, society or state that condones violence.

The perpetrators know that there are no repercussions for their behavior.

SGBV may take different forms physical, emotional, psychological or even sexual in nature. In some occasions, it involves denial of resources or access to services. In many instances when we talk about SGBV, it is difficult not to mention Violence Against Women (VAW).This is because these terms are often used interchangeably as most Gender Based Violence is inflicted by men on women and girls.However, it is high time we change our perspective on this issue. It is prudent to note that SGBV also happens to men as it happens to women.

The statistics might not favor them because few men come out to report or speak about it as the society tends to listen more to women than to men on such issues.

SGBV inflicts harm on both men and women. It is high time we change the narrative. As we engage on the 16 days of activism, let us be committed to ending all forms of SGBV by working to prevent SGBV before it happens and responding to the needs of all survivors irrespective of their gender. Let your voice be heard because your voice counts.