Widows Forum Engagement on Rights of Women And Girls

otahelp
Posted March 17, 2019 from Nigeria

 

United Nations have earmarked 8th March every year as International Womens Day. It is a day set aside to Amplify and Galvanise the many voices of women groaning in different ways of how the violence against women are affecting them.

On this day, my organisation in collaboration with Handmaid Skill Acquisition Initiative & Women Empowerment Initiative set out to a rural village of Avu in Owerri West Imo State to educate some women on their Rights. We chose the Widows forum to engage and interact with.

I sensitized the women on their rights after we had listened to their complaints of disinheritance from male siblings because you are a girl or woman and because you are married already. You will be told that their inheritance is in their husband’s house. We enquired if they got their inheritance at the death of their husbands, and their response were in the negative.

They told their stories of disinheritance of their husband’s properties especially the landed properties and the maltreatment from the husband’s relatives. The husband relatives still expects them to take permission from them before their children can go to school, go in search of work or to learn a trade.

After listening to their grievances, we educated them on their rights and suggested advocacy visits to the community and opinion leaders. We also had a skill acquisition empowerment for them. They were taught how to make liquid detergent, disinfectants, Airfreshners / odour control, perfumes and bleach.  The objective of the skill acquisition was to assist them have an alternative means of livelihood aside their farm work because they were majorly subsistence farmers.

As farmers they are making enough to sustain them and those of them without grown up children that are already earning income are helpless.

In that session we mainstreamed another of our programme on child sexual abuse and molestation. They were taught to protect their children from paedophiles and randy relatives. They were taught that close and trusted relatives are the culprits and perpetrators of sexual abuse on children.

When asked about their engagement with the politicians during the electioneering campaigns, they could not engage properly with them because of lack of information and how to engage. This had us thinking that their capacity needs to be built on informing and educating them on engagement tools to aid even their advocacy on community level. I have already discussed with my partners who also felt its necessary to do so.

They were also given some welfare package and told to amplify their voices through advocacy visits and World Pulse Online Community after telling them of my journey with World Pulse.

The only hindrance we had to their being on the platform is that they all have Nokia Touch Windows mobile telephones. They have no access to internet because they could not afford android phones

Change starts with a story.
This story was submitted in response to Change Starts With a Story.

Comments 5

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Mar 18
Mar 18

Hi Otahelp,

Thanks for sharing your inspiring and successful workshop that you had with the widows forum. It's great that you're empowering them so that they can lead happier, and more fulfilled lives. How do you plan on helping them engage with the politicians? That's too bad that they won't be able to join WP. Where is the closest internet cafe, or computer center for them to use?

Hope you're having a great day!

otahelp
Mar 19
Mar 19

jlanghus i appeciate your effort as you navigate through stories and taking time to read all of them and comment. i also do that on my spare time. thank you very much. My organisation is raising proposals for engagement trainings for women in different localities we work. We hope we get a good funder. if not we do the little we can do on our own.

too bad that there is no close cybercafe where they can go to. the nearest is too far. it will involve transport fare and also for them to be taught the basics of computer use. we have also taking that into consideration for future engagement. Computer use and internet access.

thank you once again.

Jill Langhus
Mar 19
Mar 19

Thank you, dear:-) Yes, I have noticed that you are make quite a lot of commentary. Thank you for taking the time to make a difference in all the sister's lives that you are commenting on their posts.

Yes, I hear you on the fundraising. Have you thought about running a fundraiser?

Oh, that's too bad that they have literally no access to computers....yet:-)

You're welcome.

Thanks for all that you're doing to empower women.

Hope you're having a great day!

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 20
Mar 20

Dear Otahelp,
When I talk about women within World Pulse who are paying attention to the loss of property rights of women after the death of their husbands, it is the work of World Pulse sisters like you that I want known. This right is at the very base of all that needs to change. How great to read about the advocacy, the independent business trainees, and the general discussions on basic human rights that you are doing. Until the internet is accessible might it be possible for you to continue to tell them about us and to record some of their stories back to us? The most important is that you are there in person, that they know that we are all working on this together, and that they have the right to own what they have built over their lifetimes. Even meeting you once will have been unforgettable.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Sis. Salifu
May 12
May 12

Its always great for a helping hand, big or small, kind or deeds. That's exactly what you are doing. Keep it up

Related Stories