On the 6th and 7th of August 2021, WomenAid Collective (WACOL) visited Iwollo Community in Ezeagu Local Government Area and Amangwu Obofia in Nkanu West Local Government Area both in Enugu State to sensitise the women of both communities on the need to continuously resist all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), and to report incidents of such violence whenever they happen in their communities.
The groups are the Catholic Women’s Organization (CWO), Sacred Heart Parish, Iwollo and the Amangwu Obiofia Nkanu Women General August Meeting.
This was part of WACOL’s programmes leveraging the annual women’s August conference 2021, in order to sensitise residents on the prevalence of SGBV, its prevention/mitigation, and the need to break the culture of silence in the society.
The program was yet another opportunity to educate participants on their rights, including: Sexual and Reproductive Health/Rights, Human/Women’s Rights, the Right to Inheritance, the Right to human dignity, and the need to challenge harmful cultural norms that exacerbate Violence Against Women and Girls. Most importantly the women were informed about the availability of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Enugu State and the need for victims of gender-based violence to take advantage of that law to seek redress.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Ijeoma Ezeude Esq, who is the Programme Officer of WACOL under the Women’s Voice and Leadership Project (WVL), briefed the mammoth crowd of women that gathered at both communities on legal literacy, prevention of Gender-Based Violence, Gender Discrimination, Female Circumcision, Child Marriage, Harmful Widowhood Practices, and Female Disinheritance, among others.
The enthusiastic community women received the legal education with joy and pledged their support for the struggle against Violence Against Women and Girls by encouraging victims to report cases of Violence. They took turns to ask questions and sought clarifications on the various issues that affect them as women, which include violation of their rights, and the best approaches to seeking redress.
The WACOL team responded to all the issues raised and encouraged them to always complain to relevant agencies for assistance, including WACOL.
It is noteworthy to mention that the traditional ruler of Obufia community, HRH Moses Onah, who was ably represented by his prime minister, Chief John Ogbodo, also pledged his full support to his women. “Women cannot be silenced in our village; rather men and women should complement each other to entrench a progressive and developed community,” he said. He further stressed that the community was working to ensure that both young and old men give premium respect to the rights of women and girls in the area.
He assured WACOL that the community had declared zero tolerance to Violence Against Women and Girls, to the extent that, it took conscious steps to provide mechanisms for redress through the “Peace Committee” which is domiciled within the Igwe’s cabinet to guarantee justice for victims/survivors of violence against women.
Also Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the “Peace Committee”, Chief Samuel Ugwu, promised that his committee would continue to partner with WACOL to ensure safety and protection of women and other residents in the community.
WVL is an @ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) project being implemented by WACOL and is fully funded by the @Global Affairs Canada (GAC). It is aimed at addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Economic Empowerment for Women and Girls, as well as Women’s Inclusion in Leadership.
Other members of the WACOL team are: Egodi Blessing Igwe, Ugochukwu Ogbonna, Anulika Ezennia, and Chiedozie Emekekwue.
09060002128 to report Violence Against Women and Girls to WACOL.