GENDER, SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND THE RIGHT TO HEALTH – A CIRDDOC/UNFPA PROJECT
The project of CIRDDOC and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which was aimed at protecting the reproductive health and rights of women was implemented by CIRDDOC in 2013 in Cross River and Ebonyi states. The project adopted a strategy of sensitizing men to respect the reproductive health rights of women. In furtherance of these objectives, series of activities were carried out which include:
Town Hall Meeting
CIRDDOC organized Town Hall Meetings at Ikwo and Ezza North LGAs both in Ebonyi state, Yakurr and Obudu LGAs in Cross River state. The men-only Town Hall Meeting was aimed at empowering men at the grassroots on Gender, Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the Right to Health. Over 30 people attended in each of the 4 Local Government Areas.
There were presentations on Engaging men on Fatherhood, Women situation and maternal mortality – the effect on women and children, Sexual and gender based violence – types, causes and impact on maternal health and development of women and young girls, Harmful traditional practices and their impact on maternal health. The Town Hall Meeting served as a forum to create awareness on these and many more.
How the Town Hall Meeting Contributes to MDG 5
- Mainstream male support to their pregnant wives to improve maternal health.
- The implementation of the project will reduce the maternal mortality in UNFPA sites i.e. Ikwo and Ezza North LGA in Ebonyi State, Yakurr and Obudu LGAs in Cross River state.
Capacity Building for Health Workers
A capacity training workshop was organized at Abakaliki and participants were drawn from the project sites in Ebonyi and Cross River states. The Ministry of Health in each of the states assisted in selecting nurses, midwives and doctors who participated in the workshop. Participants were empowered to be able to recognize the crucial role of health and social workers in determining whether and how SGBV is addressed in women’s health care situations.
At the end of the training, participants rated the depth of knowledge derived as qualitative and empowering for public service, especially in the health sector. They appreciated the thoroughness of presentation, including its interactive pattern to get participants involved.
About 30 participants made up of men and women participated at the training. Gender Experts were also engaged to serve as resource persons.
How the Capacity Building for Health Workers Contributes to MDG 5
- The activity will catalyze the involvement of men in the campaign for the reduction of sexual and gender based violence and promote the utilization of family planning commodity to reduce maternal deaths.
- During the Town Hall Meetings, the men signed commitments to protect the reproductive rights of women.
- The health workers pledged to promote fatherhood.
- Capacity of the health workers was built on gender, sexual and gender based violence.
- The health workers pledged to handle women’s health problems vigorously in order to make the health system more accountable to women.
Building on the achievements of the just concluded project, CIRDDOC entered into another contract with UNFPA on Increasing Access and Utilization to Family Planning and Services in Cross River and Ebonyi States. Watch out for details and outcome.