Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation
As a result of the WELDD workshops, Anah* has formed a community development association in Anka, a local government area of Nigeria, to raise awareness on the dangers of child/early marriage.
Anah*, like the others, became involved in the workshop when BAOBAB specifically invited her. She was already involved in women’s and human rights, and Anah* aimed to plant the seed of child rights into her as well.
Since then, she feels there has been noteworthy difference—both internal and external. Anah* has named her association Mata masu Dabara, or Women with Initiatives, and she feels that since her training she has been able to take up the fight against child marriage and a campaign for empowerment. With her help, Mata masu Dabara was able to raise funds to be able to send their girls to school.
“As a result of this, two of our children have been admitted to School of Nursing and Midwifery Gusau and School of Health Technology Tsafe,” she says. “Most of us have not been fortunate enough to receive Western education, but we are slowly making progress in getting our little girls to finish school at least.”
Anah* says that she now understands why most people in her society don’t see anything wrong with child marriage—it is because are unaware of the health dangers. “VVF, sexual abuse, malnutrition, and not to mention a high divorce rate: all of these are prevalent here. I suppose people do not put two and two together when it comes to such matters, which is exactly what my association tries to do. We want to make people understand the sheer weight of this issue, to wake them up, to grow past this practise—and it looks like, little by little, we are getting there.”
*Name changed for the sake of privacy