AMDF commences a 12 month project “Advocating for the prevention of Gender Based Violence in 12 communities of Kaduna State”.
Kaduna State is the third most populous state in Nigeria, with a population of 49.5% women that has long been facing GBV. With 30% of women and girls aged 15 – 49 having experienced one form of violence or the other, the lack of coordination amongst key stakeholders and poor implementation of legal framework combined with entrenched gender discriminatory norms has hampered efforts to address this menace.
With the introduction of the Covid -19 work from home policy, insecurity and other measures combined have further increased cases of GBV in vulnerable communities. The pandemic has seen the diversion of priorities and resources and has resulted in a surge of reports on gender based violence.
Government’s information dissemination and community education on Covid- 19 has not incorporated messaging on raising awareness about gender based violence, including providing information on where victims can seek help.
The 12 month project which commenced September 2nd 2021, will focus on six communities of Kaduna North and Kajuru LGA respectively, with an Expected Advocacy Result for the approved formation of Community Based Action Volunteers (COMBAV) to prevent Gender Based Violence in the 6 pilot communities each of Kaduna North and Kajuru Local Government Areas, by October 2021.
COMBAV is a rural response strategy that aims to reduce the incidence of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) especially Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Sexual and domestic Violence.
Kaduna North Local Government Area (LGA) is the epicenter and the seat of government; the indigenes of the LGA are mostly Hausas and migrated Kanuris. 80 – 85 % of women and girls within the LGA have been mutilated due to cultural and misconception of religion. The communities strongly believe that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) reduces promiscuity among women and girls; this practice of FGM has resulted to high rate of divorce and domestic violence.
Kajuru Local Government Area is home to the Adara natives constituting about 85% of the population. The LGA has been hit with insecurity as a result of farmers herders dispute and banditry. This has resulted in the displacement of 30 communities and the people are currently leaving in Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs), which are mostly populated with about 80% women and girls aged 15 – 49. These IDPs camps neglect the security of women and girls thereby making them vulnerable to sexual based violence.
The project seeks to protect women’s rights through community-based structures; this intervention is implemented by women and men from the community selected and trained as activists deployed to work in community-based action teams to challenge community attitudes, spread understanding of laws and support with referrals to relevant social services (police, social welfare, health and health Commission on human rights), it also works with traditional and religious leaders. COMBAV teams have equal male and female representation and will be trained on VAWG, VAPP law, conflict resolution and GESI policy.
They will engage community members, bridge the community to state agencies and support women to access justice.
The project is being implemented by Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), funding is provided by Rise Up; a program of the Public Health Institute, through funding from the Cummins Foundation.