Nigeria is a deeply gendered society, where the socio-cultural norms that govern attitudes, behaviors, practices and expectations results in gender inequality, especially in Muslims dominated northern part of the country. Gender inequality coupled with staunchly held, restrictive gender norms manifest itself in high levels of gender-based violence (GBV), which due to the social structures in northern Nigeria leave victims vulnerable and unable to speak or seek redress.
In Sokoto, northern Nigeria gender inequality manifest itself in a variety of ways including, and encouraged by, discriminatory socio-cultural norms and customs. These leaves women and girls exposed to high levels of sexual violence, domestic violence, transactional sex and sexual exploitation and abuse with little opportunities to seek justice. These acts of violence are a few of the violations that fall under the GBV, which this leadership training will explore and address.
The best way to end violence against women and girls is by stopping it happening in the first place and effective prevention strategies must engage young people as leaders and participants. Initiatives to prevent violence against women and girls must start early in life, by educating and working with young people, to promote respectful relationships and gender equality. It is crucial that youth are actively engaged to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
Therefore, this project seeks to mobilize, engage and train 25 young people as leaders and peer educators on preventing and ending gender based violence in Sokoto. As current and future leaders, they are the driving force for change and can use their knowledge, power and passion to challenge negative attitudes, gender stereotypes and behaviors that set in early and lead to violence in their communities and among their peers.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (November 2015)