August 13, 2022

Rural women empowered to tackle gender-based violence in Jos

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) said it will continue to empower rural women with the requisite knowledge to fight the menace of Gender Based Violence in various communities across the country.

FIDA noted that the culture of silence has been a setback in the fight on gender violence and encouraged women to speak out and take drastic action on issues that infringe on their rights as women in society.

This was disclosed by the National Program Manager of FIDA, Mr Fiki Obaro, on Thursday in Jos during a Community Action Plan Progressive review Meeting with stakeholders of Gyel community, in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State sponsored by Ford Foundation.

He explained that the programme which commenced in 2020 was going on simultaneously in some states in the country to liberate women from certain cultural beliefs that have impeded their growth and development in society.

“We are working to rap up a programme that has been going on in Gyel community where some practices that constitute violence against women are happening.

“We expect that the culture of silence of women on Gender-Based Violence is totally eradicated, the project has given women the platform to speak and we are happy here that the traditional council has created an avenue for women to speak their minds on issues that affects them for swift action.”

The Chairperson FIDA Nigeria, in the State, Mrs. Obioma Achilefu expressed optimism that the issues affecting women such as rape, women disinheritance, and sexual harassment among others are being addressed by women in Gyel community.

“We are reviewing what we have done in Gyel community with stakeholders whom we refer to as gatekeepers on the training of women on gender-based violence. The community came up with Action Plan which was populated and shared for implementation.

“We want to know what they are doing and we are impressed because of the kind of results they have achieved based on their reports. We noticed that they are carrying out activities in schools, and markets and the traditional council has come up with Bye-Laws to guide them, particularly on issues of bride price.”

She noted that most men in the community cannot pay the bride price of the women they want to marry and are coming through the backyard to pick wives for themselves which constitutes violence against women.

Former Commissioner for Justice, Plateau State, Olivia Dazyam described as important the involvement of women in solving problems with regard to gender-based violence in society.

“The community was empowered through training to come up with Action Plan on how to fight sexual and Gender-based violence in society.

Dazyam who was also a former Commissioner for Information and Communication in the state maintained that, “As the community implement the action plan, its like sexual and gender-based violence is fighting back. Yesterday, we had to go to the State CID because somebody killed his wife, as we try to solve the problem, the challenges keep emerging.”

She applauded the traditional council for initiating a bye-Law to strengthen the action plan to address issues of women’s disinheritance which has impoverished women over the years.

Also speaking, Secretary of Jos South traditional council, Joseph Dangyang said the by-laws would help in addressing so many socio-cultural issues in the community which were taken as norms in the society.

He explained that the traditional council has resolved that women in the community from henceforth are entitled to their inheritance which were denied over the years.

Dangyang added that the council also resolved that dowry in the community would no longer be more than N30,000 no matter how highly placed the lady in question is.

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