PRESS RELEASE:

Release date: 07 May 2019

 LEDAP and AmplifyChange set to increase human rights awareness among girls in Northeast Nigeria.

Yola: 07 May 2019: The Legal Defence & Assistance Project (LEDAP), with the support of AmplifyChange, is set to implement a N37 million project to educate young girls in the Northeast region on their human rights, sexual and reproductive health rights.

In a statement released by LEDAP today, the project is targeting girls in primary and secondary schools in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states. Nearly 2500 adolescent girls will be reached and encouraged by volunteer mentors to understand their rights and how to defend and asset those rights.

LEDAP stated that the motivation behind the project is to address the high level of gender-based abuses against women in the region caused by low awareness of women’s human rights in the society and limited or poor options for seeking redress when they are abused or violated.

Girls as easiest target of abuse

Girls and young women have for long been most vulnerable to sexual and gender- based violations, which are exacerbated by the violent conflicts in the region.

In every community invaded by Boko Haram and other extremist groups, women and girl children are the first and easiest targets. This general susceptibility of women to violence is a result of the patriarchal social norms that condone or even promote women’s vulnerability.

LEDAP and AmplifyChange recognize that for decades, patriarchal misapplication of tribal customary and religious norms relegated women to less than mere farming tools and house chattel. With on-going violent conflicts in the region, Boko Haram and other armed groups have abducted over 10,000 women since 2009, using them as forced labour, sex-slaves and suicide bombers. The military and the government-backed militia, Civilian JTF, are also widely reported to maltreat and sexually abuse women. The society sits back in silent conspiracy. Most of the times, the women and girls themselves are unable to resist or assert their rights due to overwhelming social norms that suppress them and their ability to protest or seek redress. The most affected abuses are the sexual and reproductive health rights of the women.

According to LEDAP’s Programmes Director, Pamela Okoroigwe, “our partnership with AmplifyChange is a major step in improving Human rights Awareness and encouraging young girls and women to know their rights and understand how to assert and defend those rights.”

AmplifyChange have signed a project contract with LEDAP in which it committed 92,000 Euros or N37,000 over two years to implement the project. If successfully carried out, the project will motivate progressive movement among future female leaders in to promote and protect rights of women, and help to move the northeast region toward gender-balanced society.

Young girls in this region, and indeed most parts of the country, rarely get information about their reproductive health rights, far less about their human rights.  Most of them marry before their 16th birthday, and so, reaching them with simple information about those rights early in life will build a better future for the society. We will also mobilize mentors and role models for the girls. Surely, LEDAP and AmplifyChange are set to motivate long term changes in the landscape of women’s human rights in the Northeast communities” said Saadatu Babayi Umar, Legal Officer & head of LEDAP’s Northern Regional Office based in Yola, Adamawa State..

LEDAP and AmplifyChange will undertake under the project human rights awareness trainings in 200 females schools and also in communities, where they will target out-of-school children. The project is expected to reach over 2,500 adolescent girls, and many more young women, and that Human Rights Clubs will be set up in nearly 100 primary and secondary schools, with life and career mentoring guidance from experienced female human rights activists.

For more information on the project, visit www.ledapnigeria/amplifychange-project/

Chino Obiagwu

National Coordinator, LEDAP

AmplifyChange is a multi-donor challenge fund to support civil society advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights. It aims to empower young people, men and women to realize their sexual and reproductive rights. The fund is managed by a consortium that includes MannionDaniels, Global Fund for Women and the African Women’s Development Fund.

Please visit www.amplifychange.org

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) is a non-governmental organization of lawyers and Law professionals, engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria. It has observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with offices in Lagos, Abuja, Yola, Port Harcourt and Oshogbo. Please visit www.ledapnigeria.org

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