Girls and women across Nigeria are falling victim to sexual assault, rape, and human trafficking. In response, The Advocacy Project (AP) is supporting an important initiative by the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) to prevent gender-based violence in Lagos. Helped by your donations, WARIF will launch an intensive program of education with 200 students in a Lagos school to understand and prevent sexual violence. We expect to change many young lives and will share the results widely.
One in every four Nigerian females will experience sexual violence as a child. Yet conversations on sexuality remain taboo in Nigeria, especially among young people between the ages of 10 and 18. Moreover, Nigerian women are regarded as subordinate to men. This culture of sexual ignorance, coupled with enforced stereotypes, demeans women and contributes greatly to gender-based violence. This is taking a terrible toll on Nigerians - old and young alike.
WARIF will select a secondary public school from the School District IV in Lagos and work with 200 students to understand how they see sexual challenges. Trained WARIF facilitators will then implement a 4-week program to address some of the root causes of gender-based violence such as poverty, illiteracy, and HIV/AIDS. We will target students, parents, and teachers so as to engage the entire community and attack the problem from all angles.
Since gender-based violence is likely to occur when adolescents reach adulthood, early intervention is the most effective form of prevention. In addition, by increasing awareness and changing behavior, our intervention will help to reduce the gender inequality that exists at all levels of society in Nigeria. We will use a baseline survey, and a final questionnaire, to evaluate the effectiveness of our intervention and make sure that the results are shared through civil society partners like AP.