I, Jane Kalu Okereke, hail from the ancient city of Ohafia, Abia State in the eastern parts of Nigeria.
I am an Accountant by profession presently am working with a logistics company. I am also the C.E.O/Founder of Grassroots Women and Girls and Gender Equity Initiative, a non-profit organization. The sole purpose of this foundation is to empower the women and girl child economically and expose them to their rights. The organisation has recently been involved in training and empowerment of women and girl child in my community of Amaekpu in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia Sate, Nigeria.
I joined World pulse in May 2015, and to my utmost excitement and amazement, I realized the level of positive impact women are making in their different communities. I discovered that the activities in World pulse are in line with my age long desire to contribute my little quota to the emancipation of women and girl child from all societal vices. On these premise and with the motivation I got from other women in world pulse, I quickly moved into action with the presentation of a seminar to the girls in my community title ‘How female adolescence can overcome the challenges while growing up in contemporary society.” The seminar was a huge success as it attracted so many adolescence girls who were facing various challenges in a fast changing world.
When the call for introduction to digital empowerment came up, I saw it as a window and an opportunity to be equipped more on how to lend my voice on the issue of women and girl child empowerment. It will build in me necessary skills that will enable reach out to more of these vulnerable groups. In a world fast evolving in technology, what better way to reach out to people than to acquire needed skills in digital empowerment?
My decision of joining the gender base violence group steams from the facts that the group promises to be a vehicle that will help me achieve the sets goals of my non-profit organization. Being a member of this group will enable me have an effective feedback to victims of gender based violence in my community. Having members in the group who are so experienced in gender based issues, will afford me the opportunity of picking from their wealth of experience.
I hope and desire that by active participation in this group, I can adequately address the issue of wife battering and rape cases prevalent in my community. This will enable me to encourage and enlighten the women to voice out and exposed such barbaric vices when it occurs.
One pertinent question that I will pose to the group is what can be done to remove the stigma on rape victims which discourages them from exposing the rapist? Fear of victimization and stigmatization has been the major reason discouraging women from speaking out when they are dishonoured. Personally I consider passage of law/bills against people who stigmatized rape victims as a possible solution.