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END GENDER BASED VIOLENCECAMPAIGNS

 

Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) are terms that are often used interchangeably as most gender-based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls. Violence against women and girls is rooted in gender-based discrimination and social norms and gender stereotypes that perpetuate such violence. This menace has grave and devastating effects on women and girls as it has resulted into death and permanent disability of many women in Nigeria in the recent past. Emphases have mainly focused on responses and services for survivors. However, the best way to end violence against women and girls is to prevent it from happening in the first place by addressing its root and structural causes, and then challenge these causes for the purpose of ending it.

END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION CAMPAIGNS

Campaign against female genital mutilation and all forms of violence against women and girl child is an integral part of our humanitarian activities, and on the front burner.  According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Nigeria on the absolute has the highest prevalence rate of this harmful practice.  The practice violates the fundamental right of women and girl child, also puts the future of our women at risk.  Our campaign against this practice is to accelerate its abandonment.

Basically strong cultural beliefs have led to gender inequalities being common. These inequalities have led to a lack of respect for women and girls in the communities and allowed for violence against women to prevail.  There are some African countries where it is generally acceptable for a man to beat his wife if she argues with him.

There is lack of women’s and girls’ awareness and understanding of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) which, along with lack of community involvement, leadership skills and experience, limits women’s ability to articulate their concerns to authorities. Blossom Life Empowerment Foundation works to enhance women’s and girls’ knowledge of their rights to improve demand for and access to sexual and reproductive health services.

  • Blossom Life Empowerment Foundation champions assistance to help those affected by violence. We combine public education and awareness raising strategies in other to support women and girls.
  • We provide a holistic approach to tackling violence against women which ensures that women seeking refuge are supported in income-generating empowerment ventures and activities.

We support women who have been affected by violence in four key ways:

 

  • Medically: Remote communities are usually left with minimal or no access to basic health services. The facilities that exist are mostly old, run-down and understaffed. We advocate for rehabilitation of these facilities and also mobilize to train health workers to be able to deal with cases of violence against women in an effective and sensitive way.

  • Psychosocially: We address the psychological effects of violence on its victims by training counsellors and mediators for victims to help victims reintegrate with their families.

  • Legally: Majority of countries in Africa believe rape is a taboo and associated with shame for the victims, justice is rarely brought, because victims feel it is ridiculous to speak out.   In Nigeria for example rarely do perpetrators get convicted.  This is largely due to ignorance of the laws by the victims and the marginalized people. Sometimes issues are usually dealt with through traditional method, with the attacker paying compensation to the victim’s family, while the victim is left with the stigma.  Blossom Life Empowerment Foundation is working with legal bodies, so as to enable women find legal justice by training officials such as police officers to develop their understanding of the legal framework, their role in upholding it and the services available to victims. We also encourage coordination between the different sectors of law enforcement, such as between the police and the courts, to ensure the cases are dealt with effectively.

We want to be sure we succeed in improving and increasing access to justice for victims.

  • Socially:  Blossom Life Empowerment Foundation work to reintegrate abused women into societies which so commonly discriminate against victims of violence. We create environment where women can seek solace, shelter and support from traind staff and we have schemes with a view to getting women back into work and their normal lives.
  • At Blossom Life Empowerment Foundation, we believe that violence against women should not define its victims, nor should it shape the rest of their lives. We continue to develop and implement programmes to tackle the effects of this devastatingly endemic issue and reduce the number of people affected by it.

Communication and Education: We sensitize women on the issues of human rights and let them know what their rights are. Radio is very widely used, even in many remote communities. We use radio programmes to address issues surrounding these social problems.

Communications can be used to deliver key wellbeing messages in a popular and accessible way.  Our information programmes are directed to both east-to-reach and hard-to-reach vulnerable groups such as rural populations, women and young people through various media platforms. Depending on the group we are reaching out to, we employ various media activities to carry out our campaigns in meaningful manner that makes sense to our target audience.