Kogi Women Hails Impact of ActionAid Women Peer Education Program

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Representatives of women from rural communities in Kogi State has described the peer education initiative of the ActionAid Nigeria has life-changing.

The women representatives drawn from 7 communities in the east and central districts of the state; Okpakpata, Ujagba, Osisi, Osaragada, Osara and Ufuloko recounted their life changing experiences at the bi-annual meeting of women peer facilitators in Lokoja on Thursday.

and commended the Centre for its intervention programmes that has changed their life, for good, in their various communities.

According to the participants, the ActionAid women peer education program has changed their lives for good in their respective communities.
They said the program has made them to understand the importance of family planning, especially child spacing,  keeping of personal hygiene, sanitation at home, importance of unity and cooperation in the family and investment mentality.
“Before, after child birth, it takes about two years before we copulate with our husband, because of the general belief that if a man have a sexual intercourse with a woman, it must result in pregnancy. But the intervention of the Centre on the teaching and adoption of family planning principles, we no longer wait till such a period before having it with our husband”,  participants from Okpakpata and Ofuloko expressed.
In her speech, the Kogi state Project Manager, Mrs Gift Owonipa stated that ActionAid is committed to addressing inadequacies and uphold the right of women folks in other to regain their natural self-worth in the society.
She said the women peer education program which started in 2012 at Osara,  Osaragada and Osisi communities in the Central District of the state has not only reviewed its function after 5years on stream,  but enlisted 33 women per education circle in 7 communities in the state.
Mrs Owonipa, who is also the Executive Director of Participation Initiative Behavorial Change in Development (PIBCID) in the state, stated that the women peer group came on board to advance the right of women and girls, and respond to the obvious gap between needs of women at community level.
She stated that ActionAid’s interventions in some communities has reduced the mourning period of widows from 5 to 3months, including reductions in materials to be presented for performing such ‘freedom rites’ by the windows.
Explaining further,  she said that the ultimate goal of ActionAid Nigeria is to achieve SDG 5 of gender equality and empowerment of women and ladies in the society, adding that this platform will continue to “mobilise and organise women at community level around issues that effect lives, politically,  socially and economically”.
Mrs Owonipa noted that the women peer education group is on track and has achieved a lot in some communities in the state since it came on stream in 2012.
Besides reducing widows’ mourning period at Ugbedomagwu and other intervening communities, she said, among others, that the intervention has provided drugs to primary health centres in communities, resulted in community led action in advancing rights of girls’ education, and created great testimonies of peaceful and harmonious coexistence from family to community level.

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