From where I stand: "I now contribute to peace building and decision making in my community"
Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
"I am a Community Mentor and Women Development officer in Kaltungo Local Government area of Gombe State Nigeria. I also double as a Local Government official but my main role in our community is to mediate and resolve conflict and train women on skills like beading, sewing, knitting and others as a personal business.
We had problems of rape, drugs and violence against women in Kaltungo Local Government. We also had rampant cases of conflict between husbands and wives in the community. With UN Women’s intervention and capacity building for women, I am now a community mentor. I now mediate as a peace builder with the youth and women in my community. I intervene during periods of crisis among families and among youths.
I received training from UN Women and her partners on Conflict monitoring, reporting and mediation, public speaking, leadership skills, and para legal.
One of the cases I handled was about a woman who had been experiencing persistent crisis in her family. The husband always abused her and beat her up and on market days, the husband would bring another woman into their home, a round hut and have sexual intercourse with the lady in front of her eyes and four kids. If there was a complaint from the wife, her husband would beat her up.
I met with the family and talked with the husband and his wife. I managed to bring them together to find ways of resolving the problems they had. With UN Women’s training, women in the community now recognise me as a peace mentor and they always invite me to resolve disputes in the community.
I work with women groups to empower them with hand crafts. I also settle family disputes in my community and disagreements between members of the community. The Women Peace and Security program has trained women in Kaltungo on conflict management and peace building. Members of the community report cases to me and I involve relevant authorities if the cases are beyond me.
Before, I was not involved in engaging members of my community as I had no mediation skills before UN Women’s Intervention through the Women Peace and Security program. But with the training I got, I now mediate in the community and people now understand the disadvantage of having disputes and conflicts in the home and in the community as it hinders peaceful co-existence.
This program has brought change in the lives of women in the community as most women are now confident and more capable to live better lives in the community, free of conflict and free of violence, improving peace and security in our state.
The program is sadly coming to an end, but we hope and appeal to the Government of Gombe State to continue the efforts and maintain the structures UN Women has put in place and take over to work on improving the lives of women and girls in Gombe State."