Oxfam, others take SGBV campaign to Abuja community
In furtherance of efforts to rid the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), and environs of cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, (SGBV), Oxfam Nigeria and the Nigeria Women Economic Development, (NigWED) Project, have organised a sensitisation campaign tagged ‘Enough is Enough’ Community-Based Assembly of Women for experience sharing.
Program Manager, Gender Justice, Oxfam Nigeria, Helen Akinyemi, said that the campaign is a community-based effort at sensitising individuals on the dangers of SGBV to the peace and progress of communities.
She explained that because people that are most affected by SGBV don’t
have the necessary information and are not sensitized on how to tackle it, there is a need for their consciousness to be raised on how to get out of such situations.
“This is the fourth campaign that we are having in Abuja and the feedback has been so encouraging that is why we are here again to bring it down to the women in the rural community level because these are the people that are most affected and they don’t
have the necessary information, are not sensitized and their consciousness
are not being raised.
“We are not just bringing it down here, we did re-launching of the “Enough’’ campaign to be able to sensitise CBOs, CSOs, and promote kind of approach that we can adopt and it is something that they too can take back to their communities, as most of the attendees here are women leaders and have a group of women that they work with. So they will take it back to these groups, as well as the community and households to sensitise them and achieve the change that we are looking for,” She said
According to her, “We adopt the Human Rights Based Approach, which is letting them know what is right and wrong, be able to decide, when to say yes or no and when it does happen, where to seek for help with people ready to respond to your cases and help.
“There are safe houses in Nigeria, but most of these women don’t know, this is part of the reasons we are here to pass the information across. And you will realize that most of the contributory factor of GBV lies in the economic development of women.
“It is important for them to know what to engage in that will fetch income and help them to participate actively in the productive sector. Gender issues, when you solve one, you are solving the other, they are interconnected.”
Director General of the NigWED Project, Lugard Okonobo pointed out that the economic development and empowerment of women are central to the work of his organisation in addressing issues of violence and gender.
He said NigWED’s “focus is addressing economic violence because we have issues of women who are subjected to double taxation, some of them their goods are seized at the markets places, some they don’t know how to check their taxes, some are married and their husbands are capitalizing on their ingenuity and education level to suppress them by taking over their economic resources.
“For those who are subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, we try to provide some economic empowerment programmes to sustain them.
“In the last one year, we have empowered about 50 women directly, but
indirectly it’s over 500 because we have partners that we are working with. We support them in terms of technical support, where we provide them with capacity building and infrastructure as it plays a key role in
running the business because it takes about 30 to 40 per cent.
He said a lot of women set up businesses and NigWED helps in the area of branding, because “as little as complimentary cards are, they go a long way to sell the brands of the person.
Sharing their SGBV experiences, some of the participants said a lot of women in their communities are going through one form in of SGBV but it is never easy to speak out due to cultural and societal restrictions.
They however call for support to economically empower local women and others in need to enable them to come out of their difficulties and meet their basic needs.