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BAOBAB: Stop Violent Punishments against Women Radio Campaign

BAOBAB For Women's Human Rights is a women's human rights organization, which focuses on women's legal rights issues under the three (3) systems of law - customary, statutory and religious laws in Nigeria. The organization evolved from an ad hoc group of activists, social scientists, lawyers, and specialists in Muslim laws and Arabic who were responsible for executing the Women and Laws Nigeria project, under the auspices of the International Solidarity Network of Women Living Under Muslim Laws from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, BAOBAB as presently constituted formally came into being.  BAOBAB operates from a national office in Lagos and with outreach teams in 14 states across Nigeria and is considered one of the leading voices in Nigeria advocating against cruel and violent forms of punishments against women in the name of 'culture'. 

Activities 

In May 2009, BAOBAB organised a two day workshop for journalists from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. During the workshop a lot of information and many experiences were shared on the various forms of violent punishments women are subjected to in different parts of the country. Participants at the two day workshop collectively agreed that there is need to step up action to reduce the occurrence of violence against women in Nigeria. Practices such as stoning, widowhood rites, female genital mutilation, among others, were identified as manifestations of violent punishment against women.

This initiative was followed by a project under the Violence is not our Culture (VNC) Campaign involving four live radio phone-in programmes on four popular radio stations in Nigeria entitiled ‘Stopping Violent Punishments Against Women: Working with the Media’.

The project had the following as objectives:

  • Open up discussions on the need for repeal of existing laws on stoning and better legislative and policy protection for women from killing and assault in the name of culture and religion. 
  • Have a better understanding of the various misconceptions and ‘facts’ behind stoning and killing of women.
  • Design media strategies to address killing of women in Nigeria based on religious and cultural interpretations.
  • Establish the foundation for networking with like minded individuals in the media and through the media on the campaign.

The project has created public awareness and has opened the doors for the participation of more stakeholders such as media practitioners in the campaign to stop violent punishments against women. The programme has opened their eyes to other areas of developments and women’s rights that require their attention. The active participation of the listeners in the discussions during the live phone in programmes is an indication of the interest in the topics and good ground for further and future debates. Even though not all the listeners’ were receptive, their participation none the less shows that they are open to information and are willing to engage.

For more information about the project, see http://www.baobabwomen.org/press.htm#svpaw

Contact

baobab@baobabwomen.org / baobabwomen@yahoo.com

 

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