The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme is supporting women peacebuilding initiatives. In Adamawa state, the work is implemented by Global Peace Development and the Centre for Health and Development in Africa. It targets 15 women associations from three local government areas: Mubi South, Mubi North and Yola North.
The project trained and mentored women on key issues, including their participation in peacebuilding and community leadership, causes of sexual and gender-based violence, and other issues affecting their general wellbeing. On completion of the training, the women’s groups received grants to roll out peace initiatives in their communities.
An assessment at the close of the project revealed that the initiatives have recorded success and contributed to addressing issues affecting women. Evidence demonstrated that the project helped enhance the self-esteem and recognition of women; raised awareness about sexual and gender-based violence; mobilised communities to take action against drug abuse among youth; and encouraged the enrolment of female children in schools to access formal education.
Hear from some of the participants:
“I am 39 years old and a mother of nine children (5 males and 4 females). At first, I did not believe that girl child education had any meaning. So, I married off my first three daughters without sending them to school. I now understand the reasons why girl child education is important and enrolled my youngest daughter in school.”
"We were discouraged from reporting rape. Often perpetrators would compromise law enforcement agents and bring shame to the survivor and her family. We now report these cases nearby at the Social Welfare Unit."
“Many of the children in our community are drug addicts. This intervention has helped us. We see the difference in their attitudes and behaviours. And the rate of drug addiction has reduced.”
“We now know that when gender-based violence occurs, to voice it out and seek justice. Before, we kept quiet and allowed the pain and shame in order to safeguard our family name and the dignity of our daughters.”
“The project helped us take action to discourage hawking, which takes girls out of the home and exposes them to gender-based violence. As a result, hawking has reduced and our girls now go to school.”
“We initiated dance and drama events to address sexual and gender-based violence. This really changed the attitude of the boys who saw young girls as objects of rape and other forms of violence.”
“There used to be a high rate of drug addiction in this community. And the drug addicts were the main perpetrators of sexual violence. Through this project, we educated our youths about the dangers and implications of drug addiction and the consequences of sexual violence. These same drug addicts have now been transformed into peace advocates in the community.”
“We trained women and adolescent girls on how to make liquid soap, air freshener, pomade, and slippers, as well as in services such as tailoring and hair plaiting. With these new skills, the women and girls can make a living for themselves.”
“Forced marriage was an issue in our community. We now discourage the practice by approaching the father of the girl to show him the impending danger of forced/early marriage.”