African Women Mentoring and Inspiring Initiative https://awmii.org Educate. Inspire. Develop. Lead Mon, 01 Jun 2020 20:24:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6 https://awmii.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/cropped-AWMII-fav-32x32.png African Women Mentoring and Inspiring Initiative https://awmii.org 32 32 Vow Against VAW- Violence Against Women https://awmii.org/vow-against-vaw-violence-against-women/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vow-against-vaw-violence-against-women Sat, 23 May 2020 08:20:00 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=392
Violence not again My vow against
Violence against women Starts now
Survivors victorious over victimization
Violence against women is a global pandemic that has been in existence for several years. The UN Declaration on the elimination of Violence against women defines violence against women(VAW) as any act of sex based violence that can result in physical, coital, psychological, emotional harm or hardship to women.’’1 The issue has become so important that as far back as April 2002 that is 18 years ago The Lancet an established scientific weekly international journal which is almost 200 hundred years old dedicated 6 serial issues on the topic.


Below is an excerpt taken from the April 6th edition of the journal written by Charlotte Watts and Cathy Zimmerman:
An increasing amount of research is beginning to offer a global overview in the extent of VAW. In this paper we discuss the magnitude of some of the most common and most severe forms of VAW: Intimate partner violence; sexual abuse by non-intimate partners; trafficking, forced prostitution, exploitation of labour and debt bondage of women and girls; physical and sexual violence against prostitutes; sex selective abortion, female infanticide, and the deliberate neglect of girls and rape in war. There are many potential perpetrators, including spouses and partners, parents, other family members, neighbours and men in positions of power or influence. Most forms of violence are not unique incidents but incidents on going and can even continue for decades. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, violence is almost universally under-reported. Nevertheless, the prevalence of such violence suggests

Aw! Me! Yes you! It can be me or you becoming the victim. It can be me or you becoming the survivor. It can be me or you becoming the perpetrator. It can be me or you becoming the deliverer. Let’s choose wisely by taking a vow against Violence Against women.


References
1 WHO. Violence against women. Geneva: WHO/FRH/WHD


2 Watts, C. and Zimmerman, C. Violence against women: global scope and magnitude, The Lancet, 2002, 359:1232

By Ekechi Amadi(Doctorpoet)

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Wrapper on a Monday https://awmii.org/wrapper-on-a-monday/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wrapper-on-a-monday Wed, 01 Jan 2020 13:58:57 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=371 I woke up on a Monday morning with a strong desire to go to work dressed like the Rivers woman that I am (two wrappers on a blouse with head gear). This is a rear wear for young women and how we arrived at this philosophy is still baffling. In the days of my mother, it was a normal wear to work.

Women on Rivers State Traditional Attire

My colleagues at work did not make things any easier for me as I got them staring with questions filled eyes; the bold and close ones actually asked if I had an occasion to attend at the close of work, I just nodded in the negative.
At the close of work, I decided to take a long walk home and I met an elderly lady who asked if I visited the village (laughs), surprisingly even my mother wondered on my decision to get dressed in that manner. Despite the wrapper wahala, I got a whatsapps message on wrapper that has gone viral. It is a speech by Bisi Fayemi, the first Lady of Ekiti State; she is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com.

Below is the speech:
“I was in Uganda a few years ago for one of the programs we used to run at the African Women’s Leadership Institute. One day, there was a report about something that had happened in one of the local markets. One of the women in the market went into labour unexpectedly. It seemed there was no time to get her to a nearby hospital or clinic, so the women around went into action. Some of them ran around to look for basins, hot water, towels, and razors. A few held her hand and encouraged her to push. Majority of the women around took out their wrappers and held them up, creating a protective ring around the woman, shielding her from prying eyes. Every now and then, this scenario plays itself in other markets around the continent, and the response is mostly the same – women bring out their wrappers to protect one of their own.
Sadly, this is no longer the case these days. Instead of wrappers coming out, it would be cell phones to record every graphic detail. Sure, help might still come, but not before the person concerned has all their pain and agony out there for all the world to see. Recently, there was the case of a young woman in Ajah, Lagos, who was found wandering the streets. Reports on how she got there vary, but she was stark naked, extremely emaciated and incoherent. Instead of immediately rushing to help, covering her up and getting her medical attention, onlookers laughed at her, threw things at her and recorded her on their cell phones.
Without any idea of who she was or how she got there, judgements were made on the spot about her being the victim of ritualists which she must have brought on herself in her quest to make quick money. A good Samaritan, Keira Hewatch, stepped in and took her to the hospital. Even though many onlookers were not prepared to help the poor woman on the road, they tried to stop Keira from helping her, saying she too might be bewitched. Essentially, they refused to bring out their wrappers to protect and save someone and tried to stop someone else who was willing to bring out hers. What do these wrappers signify? To me they mean protection, solidarity, sisterhood, empathy, kindness, compassion, duty, all those things and more that make us human beings. In the market places where the scene I described in Uganda happens, there is an unspoken protocol amongst the women – a responsibility to take care of one of their own who needs them. She is in pain, afraid but she has sisters around her, rooting for her and helping her.
So, I ask us my dear sisters, where is your wrapper? Where is your wrapper to shield and protect other women and girls who need you? Where was your wrapper for the little girl who was molested by someone in your household and you said ‘Shhhhh’ and looked the other way? Where was your wrapper when someone you know said she was raped by someone she trusted? Did you ask her what she was wearing? Or if she seduced him? Where was your wrapper when your friend needed succour from an abusive husband? Did you gossip behind her back that it served her right, she is too arrogant? Where was your wrapper when your sister or daughter told you that her lecturers were harassing her in the University? Did you tell them that they must have done something to encourage them? Where was your wrapper when a young woman who could have been your own sister, daughter or niece was found on the streets naked? Were you one of the women who stood by and recorded her misery and threw things at her? Were you one of the men who tried to stop brave Keira from helping? What was in it for you to have a very sick woman die untended in broad daylight, with human beings baying for her blood like animals? Even animals care more for their own.


Our wrappers might all look different, with varying sizes, shapes and colours, but each and every one of us has a wrapper. Bring that wrapper out to shield another woman, or a man. Use it to help get her a contract, help with her rent, pay her children’s fees, help her with capital for a business or simply a discreet shoulder to cry on. Never let a day go by without bringing out that wrapper. The way God works is that the more wrappers you bring out for others, the more will come out for you. We don’t only need wrappers when we celebrate and buy Aso Ebi. We need the wrappers for our trials and tribulations and we all have them.
The women in the market place might never see the woman they helped again. She might never be able to say thank you. Yet she will never forget that other women stood by her and gave her dignity and covered her nakedness. Are we prepared to cover the nakedness of others, or do we want to be part of the mob that strips them naked? These days there seems to be a war against women. Not only is sexual violence high, these crimes are now committed in full view of the public. A young woman is accused of stealing and stripped naked, hands all over her and objects being stuck into her. When this happens, what do we do, will we look the other way? When a woman is being harassed online, do we join in the abuse? The more wrappers we bring out, the safer we will all be. There is another conversation to be had with the men, with our male leaders, with those who have the powers and privileges that weaken our agency and make us forget that we have wrappers in the first place. Today, we are talking to and about ourselves.
Let us all agree to bring out our beautiful, strong, diverse wrappers; wrapper of respect, love, dignity, support and endless hope. Thank you for bringing out your wrapper Keira. God bless us all.”


When I read through her speech, I felt so good with my wrapper on a Monday. We are women, we understand ourselves better and this is an era where women supporting women brings about mental health and wellness for the womenfolk.
The truth is together, we win.
Nissi Ikenna-Amadi

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Sexual Violence: The Alarming Numbers https://awmii.org/sexual-violence-the-alarming-numbers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sexual-violence-the-alarming-numbers Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:35:20 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=362 In Nigeria today, rape is such an unfortunate rampant incident that could cause the victim to go through a lot of emotional trauma which mostly causes low self-esteem, depression, disturbed sleep, negativity, fear, anger, anxiety, isolation, hostility, death(mostly suicidal), addictions to alcohol or other bad habits and many more havocs… though the anger of the victim could be justified by the fact that they want justice, it could as well cause permanent psychological damage to the victim if care isn’t taken. 

1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner. Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care. Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2017; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances. 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited.

It doesn’t help that in the society today, rape has become a catastrophic incident that has been handled with a high level of disregard, it hurts even more that only a few of these rape cases get to court and gets the deserved justice for the victim.

Furthermore, I’d like to bring to our notice that being raped is never the victim’s fault, you telling a woman to dress decently to avoid rape is like telling people not to earn money because of robbers, the robbers should be stopped not your earnings same as the rapists should be stopped not the victim’s choice of clothes. Rape isn’t ‘sex’ between two people as long as there was no mutual agreement between both parties before the iniquitous act took place irrespective of what the victim was wearing. You might have been raped physically, but it’s left to you not to allow yourself get deprived of the good life that you deserve, don’t rape yourself emotionally too… voice out 

Reporting rape can be a very emotional and difficult thing to do, so you should consider getting support from organisations or security agencies (eg the police), don’t remain quiet, speak to someone about it… you’re a light, don’t give room for intimidation, you’re destined for great things, what more could you be scared of than the heartbreak you feel already, isn’t it better to die a hero than live a pained coward for the rest of your life?

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Just Because I am a Girl – International Day of the Girl-Child https://awmii.org/just-because-i-am-a-girl-international-day-of-the-girl-child/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=just-because-i-am-a-girl-international-day-of-the-girl-child Mon, 21 Oct 2019 14:35:52 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=328

In keeping with its vision of self discovery for the African Woman, AWMII (African Women Mentoring and Inspiring Initiative) commemorated this year’s International Girl-Child Day by educating and inspiring young women. 

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. The celebration of the day also “reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women as a distinct cohort in development policy, programming, campaigning and research.”
 

The pinky event which held at the popular Knowledge Development Centre (KDC) in Port Harcourt was tagged “Just Because I am a Girl”, where facilitators educated the girls on hygiene during menstrual circles and the legal coverage of sexual abuse of young women. The event was also graced by Hadassah Ibinyingi Allaputa, who is Ms Nigeria United Nations and also the founder of G-Pin Project. 

The chief host of the event was the amiable Nissi Ikenna-Amadi – Founder and Executive Director of AWMII.
This year’s global theme is “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable,”, which according to UN’s official website was a celebration of all of the achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

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Niger Delta Youth Empowerment Pathways Project https://awmii.org/niger-delta-youth-empowerment-pathways-project/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=niger-delta-youth-empowerment-pathways-project Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:41:12 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=318
Niger Delta Youth Empowerment Pathways Project
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Just Because I am a Girl – A Talk https://awmii.org/just-because-i-am-a-girl-a-talk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=just-because-i-am-a-girl-a-talk Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:41:45 +0000 https://awmii.org/?p=321

AWMII’s celebration of the Day of the Girl Child. The observation supports more opportunity for girls in access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.

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