The three days training and empowerment intervention that have taken place in Sokoto State have been described by survivors of violence against women and girls,(VAWG) sexual sexual violence based on gender (SGBV) and harmful traditional practices (HTP) as the right instrument to guarantee their liberation and to enable them to contribute to the development and growth of their communities.
The training was organized in collaboration with the state ministry of women and children in the context of the EU Spotlight Initiative program, the UN Population Fund.
Some of the survivors and program recipients discussed their experiences with our correspondent before being selected for the training.
According to one of the survivors, who claimed to have been mistreated and dehumanized by her ‘husband,’ his parents married her for him when she was only thirteen years old without her consent.
She claims her life in that marriage was hellish and tormenting, and she begged her “husband” to grant her divorce request, which he has refused for seven years.
She said her ‘husband’ is a Nigerian Army soldier who abandoned her nine days after their marriage and returned seven months later to beat her in the worst kind of dehumanization.
The survivor says seeing the threat and maltreatment from her ‘husband’ who refused to grant her request for divorce and is not living up to his responsibility, she decided to move out of his house and went to acquire secondary school education with the consent of her parents.
She stated that she completed her secondary school education and now holds a Senior Secondary School Certificate, and that she is willing to continue her education if she is given the proper support and assistance.
She claims that the UNFPA training will enable her to be self-sufficient and cater for her own needs rather than relying on others for survival.
Another survivor of Obstetric fistula said for over a year she has not been with her husband because of the condition caused by the VVF.
She added that though the husband has not officially divorced her, they have not ben together for the past one year since she contracted the VVF condition.
The survivor said she still loves her husband and will want to be reunited with him,s ince she has fully recovered from the effect of the VVF and she is living her normal life like any other woman
She appreciated the UNFPA and state ministry for women and children affairs for the supports and efforts that ensure she got a free surgery during her ordeal with the Fistula.
Selected women from Bodinga and Sokoto North Local Government area were trained on Child spacing and family planning,, livelihood skills , grant disbursement to start small business and special skills on how to prevent VAWG/SGBV/HP/SRHR.