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Nigeria, kinderen voor een school

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Every year, the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign is organized by the United Nations in collaboration with international partners. The campaign kicks-off on 25 November with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and ends on 10 December with the Human Rights Day. The aim of the campaign is to unite and raise awareness on gender-based violence and call for action to end violence against women in all its forms. The theme of this year’s campaign is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls” asking people and organizations to share what they do to contribute to a world free from violence.

ZOA addresses gender-based violence

Challenging social norms about gender

ZOA works in many countries with a high frequency of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and related conflicts inside and outside of the family. One of the root causes of GBV are the social norms about gender, women and girls: they are often seen as inferior to men and boys, wives are considered to be the property of their husbands. “Failed” or “frustrated masculinity” is often seen as a cause of conflicts in general and GBV in particular. ZOA aims to address GBV by challenging social norms about gender and addressing women’s specific experience of security and impunity. ZOA also works to improve the response to GBV survivors especially in the area of socio-economic integration.

16-days of Activism in Nigeria

GBV is rampant in Nigeria with almost one out of every three women aged between 15 and 49 having experienced physical violence. Two out of three women and girls are exposed to violence by their boyfriend or husbands, and 25 per cent of girls experience sexual violence, including very young girls.

ZOA Nigeria aims to address harmful gender norms and GBV throughout its emergency relief interventions with positive results. The provision of monthly cash assistance to the most vulnerable, like female headed families, pregnant and lactating mothers and elderly households, contributed to the lower vulnerability of women and girls to violence and sexual exploitation.

Group picture in Nigeria

Awareness raising

As part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the ZOA team in North-East Nigeria alongside the Canadian Food Grain Bank and World Renew, organized an initiative aimed at raising awareness and initiating action to combat GBV in the community. The initiative started with training sessions for staff and partner organizations to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively support GBV survivors and advocate for its prevention by building partnerships and collective efforts in the fight against GBV. Furthermore, public awareness will be raised on GBV through a walk campaign within the community and to advocate for gender equality and encourage collective action to create a safer and more equitable environment for all.

Read more about ZOA's work in Nigeria