The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (CentreLSD) has commenced a gender justice project with a view to strengthening the advocacy skills of faith and traditional leaders in Nigeria.

Development Diaries understands that Christian Aid Nigeria is funding the six-month project.

The project, being implemented in partnership with the Nigerian chapter of the Side-by-Side Movement for Gender Justice, seeks to contribute to freeing Nigerians from cultural and interpersonal systems of privilege, oppression, violence and gender repression with the target of reaching 1,000 people.

Gender justice issues, including child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), discriminatory widowhood, rape, spousal maltreatment and abuse, are prevalent across Nigeria.

According to a recent study commissioned by the Nigerian Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 28 percent of women aged between 25 and 29 have experienced some form of physical violence since age 15.

The study also showed that the level of exposure to the risk of violence for women varied based on marital status, with 44 percent of divorced, separated or widowed women abused.

CenterLSD, in a statement by the Project Lead, Vincent Dania, noted that the project will focus on establishing a mechanism for faith actors and traditional leaders to respond to identified issues of gender injustice within their congregation, social groups, and communities.

‘Activities of the project, which are designed to have a national appeal, will also centre at the subnational, particularly in two states of Ekiti and Kaduna, directly targeting 150 faith leaders, traditional rulers, and gender champions’, Dania said.

‘Indirectly, we seek to reach at least 10,000 persons across diverse groups of the society. It is expected that all the people reached with the message will push for gender justice in their own space.

Photo source: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

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