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Empowering Voices: AWWDI Engages Women with Disabilities To Lead the Fight Against SGBV

Abuja, Nigeria – A significant milestone was achieved in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) with the recent event, “Amplifying the Voices of Women with Disabilities Against SGBV.” Organized in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria and the High Commission of Canada to Nigeria, and supported by Global Affairs Canada, Advocacy for Women With Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI) in an event brought together Self-Help Group (SHG) leaders from across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to empower and unite them in advocacy against SGBV.

Held at a vibrant venue in Abuja, the event served as a powerful platform for women with disabilities, focusing on building their capacities to advocate effectively within their communities. The collaboration between local and international partners underscored the importance of global solidarity in addressing the pervasive issue of SGBV.

Empowering Leaders with Advocacy Skills

One of the standout achievements of the event was the empowerment of SHG leaders. These leaders, representing various clusters across the FCT, received invaluable training on advocacy against SGBV. Through interactive sessions and workshops, they acquired new skills and strategies to effectively campaign against violence in their communities. This training was designed not only to educate but also to inspire these leaders to take decisive action and champion the rights of women with disabilities.

Mr. Jayeoba Kolawole, an expert facilitator and the program manager, AWWDI, renowned for his work in gender advocacy, led the training sessions. His guidance was instrumental in equipping the leaders with practical tools and techniques to address SGBV. Kolawole’s approach emphasized real-world applications, ensuring that the leaders left the event ready to implement change.

Strengthening Coordination Among SHG Clusters

Another critical aspect of the event was the improvement of coordination between SHG clusters. By fostering stronger connections and facilitating better communication, the event helped create a united front against SGBV. Leaders from different clusters shared their experiences and strategies, learning from each other’s successes and challenges. This enhanced coordination is expected to lead to more cohesive and effective advocacy efforts across the FCT.

Monitoring and Evaluation for Accountability

The importance of monitoring and evaluation in SGBV initiatives was a key focus of the training. Leaders were taught how to track the progress of their advocacy efforts and ensure accountability. This included setting measurable goals, collecting data, and analyzing the impact of their activities. By incorporating these practices, SHG leaders can sustain their efforts and demonstrate the effectiveness of their initiatives, thereby attracting more support and resources.

Inspiring Success Stories

A highlight of the event was the sharing of inspiring success stories from various SHG clusters. These stories showcased diverse and innovative approaches to tackling SGBV and empowering women with disabilities. From grassroots campaigns to community-based support systems, the stories highlighted the resilience and creativity of SHG leaders. These narratives not only motivated the attendees but also provided practical examples of what can be achieved through dedication and collaborative effort.

Fostering Open Dialogue

The event also emphasized the importance of open dialogue within SHG communities. By creating a safe space for discussion, the event encouraged participants to raise awareness and mobilize support against SGBV. These dialogues are crucial for breaking the silence around violence and fostering a culture of support and action. Participants engaged in meaningful conversations about the challenges they face and the steps needed to address them, laying the groundwork for future initiatives.

A Step Towards Safer Spaces

The success of the “Amplifying the Voices of Women with Disabilities Against SGBV” event marks a significant step towards creating safer spaces for women with disabilities. The training, collaboration, and shared experiences have empowered SHG leaders to be strong advocates in their communities. The event’s impact will be felt beyond the immediate participants, as these leaders carry forward the knowledge and skills gained to effect change in their respective areas.

Acknowledgments

Special thanks are extended to the High Commission of Canada to Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada for their unwavering support. Their contributions were instrumental in making the event a reality. Additionally, the dedication and expertise of Mr. Jayeoba Kolawole, the event’s facilitator, were pivotal in ensuring the success of the training sessions.

Looking Forward

As the participants return to their communities, they do so with renewed vigor and a robust network of support. The collaboration between ActionAid Nigeria, the High Commission of Canada to Nigeria, and Global Affairs Canada has set a precedent for future initiatives aimed at empowering women with disabilities. The success of this event is a testament to the power of partnership and the collective commitment to ending SGBV.

The journey towards equality and safety for women with disabilities continues, and with empowered leaders at the helm, the future looks promising. The “Amplifying the Voices of Women with Disabilities Against SGBV” event has ignited a spark that will continue to burn brightly in the fight against gender-based violence.

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