WASHINGTON (March 8, 2013) — Even as President Obama signed the reauthorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act yesterday, March 7, Africare is raising awareness of violence against women and girls as we celebrate International Women’s Day. Of note are today’s activities in Nigeria and Tanzania.
In Nigeria’s Bayelsa State, Africare staff is leading a discussion of social norms and practices that increase vulnerabilities for women, and discussing ways to empower local girls.
Additionally, in Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria, Africare is bringing the spotlight to bear on women as agents of change in development by sharing the achievements of the Idang Atam Cooperative, one of four successful cooperatives implementing household economic strengthening through Africare’s Community Based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CUBS) project.
In Tanzania, Africare’s team is focusing on gender-based violence and violence against children prevention programs in Iringa, Njombe and Dodoma through its Pamoja Tuwalee program, which raises community awareness of domestic abuse, rape, forced prostitution, early marriages and other forms of abuse against women and children.
“In our program, gender-based violence is hard to address because these abuses are often hidden from public view and frequently happen in the context of intimate relationships,” said Herbert Mugumya, Africare’s Chief of Party for the Pamoja Tuwalee project. “These acts are allowed by cultural standards and are not reported due to embarrassment or shame, and as a program, we are happy that the government has taken gender-based violence issues seriously and it is considered an offense and crime if one commits such acts.”
“Africare is committed to raising awareness on women’s struggles for equity and dignity in the places where we live and work,” said Dianne Forte, Africare’s Director of the Office of Agriculture, Food Security, Enterprise and Gender. “The recent surge in gender-based violence pushes us to have a serious conversation about what we can do to empower the communities in which we work.”
To talk with Africare experts and to receive more information on Africare’s women’s empowerment projects, please contact Nicole S. Miles at 202-328-5320.