On-going 3 days Experience Sharing and Annual Workplan Development meeting of ActionAid SLOC-VAWG Partners from Imo,Gombe and FCT at Goodview Hotel and Alhaji Abuja. #ActionAid Nigeria.
Communal Care Centre Oguta celebrated our children today 27th May 2022 with a visit to orphanage home for physically challenged children. The visit was used to talk to them on issues around Gender Based Violence(GBV) and how to protect themselves from abuse,as well as to speak out when their rights are violated. Radio program was also used to reach out to other children. The program featured members of the school peer Educators who spoke extensively on creating safe space for children
History was made today 7th May 2022,as Ozuh Omuma Autonomous Community Oru-East LGA,Imo State publicly abolished Female Genital Mutilation/C,breaking the aged long culture of circumcising the girl child. The process was facilitated by Communal Care Centre Oguta under the ActionAid Nigeria project on strengthening Local Women-Led Organizations capacity to combat Violence against Women and Girls(SLOC-VAWG). In attendance were the team of Communal Care Centre led by the Executive Director, Mrs. Collette Bennett,National Human Rights Commission,the media,heads of all villages,the traditional ruling council and relevant stakeholders in the community.
The document signed by the traditional ruler,Eze Philip O. Uzodinma (Ononehi 1 of Ozuh Community) was presented to the entire Community as a bidding document for all indigene of Ozuh Omuma Community.
CCC women Peer Educators session held at Umuhu Omuma in Oru East LGA, Imo State. The women were made to understand that a woman’s feelings about herself and how much value she places on herself are very important for her well-being and her contribution to development. They can improve their self-esteem by further education and skills acquisition, learning to speak in public, owning a business or working to make up for what we see as lack. The session which was facilitated by CCC trained women peer educator; Mrs Ulinwa was held with 2 different groups; the church group and Isusu meeting group. The women appreciated the session and looks forward to the next meeting.
Interactive meeting with women in Oguta held on the 24th of February, 2022 at Wereuche Villa Hotels Oguta. The meeting was aimed at discussing harmful socio-cultural norms and practices affecting women and girls in Oguta; especially the issue of widowhood practice and inheritance right. The meeting had representative from the national human rights commission; Barr. Okoroji who talked intensively on equity and fairness. The consequences of violating the rights of women and girls as stated in the constitution and the VAPP law. The traditional prime minister of Oguta who was also present at the meeting pledged the total support of the palace in ending widowhood practice and denial of inheritance. He said the traditional ruler is aware of these issues and have vowed to bring it to a stop. The women applauded the efforts made by CCC and pledged to take the message to the different women groups and social clubs in Oguta to call out women to stand up and defend their rights.
Interactive meeting with women in Ozuh Omuma community in Oru East LGA held on 17th March 2022. The meeting which was aimed at discussing the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation in Ozuh community had a representative from the NHRC; Barr. Ukah Ukachi present who spoke on the different laws protecting the rights of women in Nigeria. She talked about the Child right law, the VAPP law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that prohibits FGM stressing that it’s an injury that causes disfigurement of the female genitals and it’s a violation of the fundamental human right of the girl child. She went on to highlight the consequences of violating this law as a 4 years jail term and/or fine of #200,000. She urged the women to say no to FGM and report any case to CCC for further actions. The Ed of CCC added that a town hall meeting with the council of elders will be held soon to delibrate on the issue and put a stop to FGM in Ozuh Omuma community which happens to be the Governor’s community. She urged the women to continue to protect themselves and stand up for each other that an injury to one is an injury to all. They should Say No to FGM/C.
Communal Care Centre meets Oguta Ruling Council on ending harmful cultural practices
By CHINYERE Nnaemeka
A nongovernmental organization based in Oguta; Communal Care Centre with funding from ActionAid Nigeria has met with the Traditional Ruling Council, and elders in each of the 27 villages in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State to the need to bring to an end the harmful cultural practices, especially widowhood practices in their communities.
The meeting which took place Wednesday at the traditional ruler’s Palace in Oguta community had the traditional ruler, HRH Eze Nnani Nzeribe Ezeyiche, the elders, the Communal Care Centre team and other stakeholders present.
Addressing the traditional ruler, the Executive Director of CCC, Colette Benette, who appreciated the ruler and the elders for honouring their invitation, pointed out that it is the vision of the organization for there to be a caring society free from all forms of stigmatization, discrimination, and has equal opportunity for vulnerable groups to excel.
She continued that for the aforementioned reason, they with support from ActionAid Nigeria are striving to end harmful cultural practices; Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, widowhood practices, other immoral acts such as raping of a child, youths taking hard drugs, domestic violence, among others.
To ensure that the quest is achieved, Benette disclosed that they have trained some group of stakeholders in the LGA as Violence Response Team, who are to go round the communities to identify those practices and sensitize the people on the need to end them
The response team she said, with the permission of the king are the ones who had organized the meeting with the ruling council.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Ikechukwu Ossai; the convener of the meeting, and Chairman of the Oguta Violence Against Women and Girls Response Team (Onye Egwu Anazo Nwaneya), with his Secretary, Mrs. Ifeoma Oputa dwelt on how children are being raped, and some women beaten to death or subjected to one form of torture or another by their husbands.
They talked about Female Genital Mutilation, FGM which they said have led to the death of many female folk, and left others to face one difficulty or the other, especially in their marriages.
They condemned in its totality the taking of hard drugs; Mkpuru Mmiri, among others by youths, saying that it has led many youths into either unconsciously taking their lives, misbehaving in the street or losing their sanity.
Looking at the issue of widowhood practices, they noted that it is not like they are saying that women should not mourn their husbands, but that they are pleading for them to be allowed to do it in a way they deem fit, and not by forcing them to shave their hair, drink the water washed from the corpse, sleep with the corpse, denied access to his property due to the fact that she did not give birth to a male child, among others.
Such practices they said, have done the society more harm than good, and so it is high time it is stopped, and rules stipulated with penalties for people who fails to abide by it.
They made the council understand that they have met with the oldest men and women in the LGA, who they said have agreed for such practices, especially widowhood practice to be stopped.
The Human Right Commission delegate, Lady Justina Ngozi Okeke who was also present in the meeting, extensively talked about the practices, noting that the VAPP, Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, which she said has provisions to tackle those practices, have been endorsed by the State Governor.
Advising the council to endeavour to refrain from falling prey to the wrath of the Law, Okeke cited that for FGM, that the Child’s right Law 2004 provides for anyone that engages in such to go to jail for one year or pay a fine of N50,000,
Responding, the traditional ruler, welcomed the team and made them understand that they have already began abolishing some of those practices, citing,”We have nothing like people called Osu in our communities”.
For taking of hard drugs, he pointed out that the youth group in their communities are already looking into it and they will make sure to support them to succeed.
The royal accepted the request of the team, told them to make a communiqué to that effects and avail it to the traditional ruling council for endorsement.