Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Money-Woman: GREENCODE holds dialogue on GBV for C'River communities

Participants with organisers of the dialogue 
Nyok|8 January 2019 

A civil society organization championing the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Green Concern for Development (GREENCODE), with support of Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), December 2018 held a one-day community dialogue on gender-based violence for communities in Becheve and Utanga ward in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The dialogue which was in line with the 16-days activism against gender-based violence, had participants drawn from several communities in Becheve and Utanga, where the traditional practice of money-woman Marriage is rampant.
The community dialogue which was carried out on the 10th of December, 2018, had participants drawn from several communities in Becheve.

In his opening speech, Mr Bassey Edem of GREENCODE, thanked participants for finding time to attend the event. He said GREENCODE intervention programme focuses on humanitarian response, governance, environment and social justice.

Continuing, Mr Edem said GREENCODE, with the support of Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), is implementing a project in line with the global 16-days activism against gender-based violence in Becheve, Obanliku Local Government Area. He said the project which is titled, "Speak Against Money-Woman Marriage (SPAMM)", is to educate and sensitize the people of Becheve and Utanga on the negative effect of money-woman marriage which is a form of gender-based violence, dialogue with the community towards putting an end to it, as well as increase advocacy to policymakers and community leaders to end this unwholesome cultural practice.

In his welcome address, the clan head of Becheve, who was represented by the village head of Anepe-Becheve, Chief Martin Imbush , expressed gratitude to organizers of the dialogue, noting that Becheve is a peaceful place and as such is receptive to any intervention which would better the lives of the people.

Participants at the community dialogue agreed that money-woman marriage is a cultural practice where a girl's parents exchange their child as collateral to get loan, property, food or to settle debt that was owed even before the child was born. The practice, they say, affects young girls from age six, who are forced into money-woman marriage and most times got pregnant before the age of twelve. The practice which the group also affirmed is against Cross River State Child Rights Law 2010, does not promote gender equality, it denies girl child education, it's against natural right of choice and that it negates community development since it does not encourage the development of the girl child and women in general.
Mr Bassey Edem facilitating the dialogue 

The dialogue which involved brainstorming sessions, experience sharing, storytelling, general discussion and questions and answers session came up with and adopted a 7-point resolution towards ending money-woman marriage in the affected communities.

Arising from the dialogue, participants deliberated extensively on the following and adopted same as resolutions:

*That both girls and boys should be given equal opportunity to acquire education.
*That the council of chiefs in Becheve will enact community law to stop the practice of money-woman marriage by February, 2019.
*That the youth forum in Becheve will assist the council of chiefs to enforce the law that will be enacted to stop money-woman marriage.

*That the communities will carry out awareness campaign against gender-based violence and by extension, money-woman marriage.
Scenes from the rally... 

Others are:
*That men and youths will be sensitized about the negative effects of acquiring a money-woman and also discouraged to take money-woman marriage offer.
*That individuals in the community will be encouraged to speak out against gender-based violence and report cases to chiefs council, government, NGOs like GREENCODE, Basic Right Counsel Initiative, CENGOs etc.
*That NGOs and government at all levels should empower Becheve people financial, especially women with skills acquisition programmes to address the issue of poverty.
*empower Becheve people financially
Ms Brenda Effiom of Brencare Foundation in a session 

The participants at the community dialogue embarked on awareness campaign against gender-based violence (money-woman marriage), immediately after the training that took place on the 11th December, 2018. With few minutes past 2:00pm the community people hit the streets of Becheve with placards carrying messages against child marriage for the campaign with so much energy, boldness, and enthusiasm.

The objective of this campaign was to raise public awareness on money-woman marriage and to pressure relevant stakeholders to act against it. This was also to draw attention to the Global 16Days Activism against Gender-Based Violence and to end violence against women/girls.

The rally took a long-walk of about 8km of solidarity songs against money-woman marriage chanted in their local language and English language accompanied with dance from the venue of the training to new market, Becheve where there was large population of people because it was Becheve market day.

In a related development, there was an advocacy visit to the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA which began with a sensitization walk from the Leopard roundabout to Cross River State House of Assembly complex. At the complex, the Convener, Mr. Efiom Duke of GREENCODE presented a position paper. In his address, Efiom enumerated various ills which are caused as a result of lack of effective implementation of relevant laws against child marriage in Cross River State. This, he said has made money-woman marriage practice which is a gender-base violence against girls/women to persist in Becheve and Utanga ward in Obanliku LGA of Cross River State and has led to several negative effect on the girls/women of Becheve.

According to him, 'the State has adequate laws but lack the political will to strictly implement and enforce those laws. I am calling on the House of Assembly as a matter of urgent public interest to liaise with the relevant law enforcement agencies in the state to strictly enforce the laws to stop the dehumanized cultural practice of money-woman in Becheve.' Particularly, He called on the enforcement of the following four extant laws, namely, Law to Prohibit Girl-child marriage and Female Circumcision or Genital Mutilation in Cross River State; Law No. 2 of 2000; Law to Prohibit Domestic Violence Against Women and Maltreatment of Widows; Law No. 6 of 2005; Law to Provide for the Right of Female Person to own and to inherit Property and for matters connected therewith Law No. 4 of 2007; and 
Cross River State Child Right Law 2010.

Also present at the event were civil society organizations such as Brencare Foundation, Girls' Power Initiative (GPI) and Basic Right Council Initiative (BRCI).

Efio-Ita Nyok is the blogger-in-chief, editor-in-chief and publisher of NEGROIDHAVEN 

No comments:

Post a comment

***We ❤ to hear from you, Tell us Your views and opinion. Please note that comments are always moderated, Abusive comments won't be approved, and spammy comments are deleted automatically.

Your Comment Are Welcome !!!!!!