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