By Josephine Agbonkhese
Voices4Change, a DFID funded programme, has officially launched in Lagos its Purple Academy, a novel free e-course dedicated to helping young minds reach their full potentials by ensuring a more equitable society for both sexes.
An offshoot of Purple, a lifestyle brand that is fast gaining popularity on social media and among A-list celebrities with its campaign for a 50-50 world where everyone gets same chances to achieve their full potentials in life, the Purple Academy hopes to further address three key norm areas where women particularly face discrimination.
“These areas cover issues such as violence against women, women in participation and women in decision-making. We have a corresponding physical content of the academy where we take young people through our Purple Spaces in 16 tertiary institutions in Kano, Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos states.
“Essentially, the academy has a curriculum which we use in training these young people and part of the content include understanding gender and gender-related issues, understanding gender rights, life management skills like leadership skills, self-esteem, negotiation and of course, reproductive.
“The whole purpose is to build the capacity of young people, both women and men, to become more confident about discussing issues about gender, how it affects them and how they can promote an equitable society,” said Dr Modupe Taiwo, Project Cordinator, while speaking at the launch which had in attendance hundreds of undergraduates from various tertiary institutions in Lagos State.
Defending Purple’s choice of young people as instruments in combating gender stereotypes, Ruth Okonya, Coordinator, Voices4Change, Lagos State Chapter, explained that young people constituted about 65 percent of the nation’s population and if adequately sensitized, could help promote a more equitable society.
The Purple brand presently promotes debate amongst young women and men through entertainment platforms- radio, mobile space, TV and on the ground activities. It also has an ongoing radio drama and has also supported both the last and current Super Story TV series, due to contents which appeal to its Purple ideology.