With support from Ford Foundation, CEWHIN held a two-day training workshop for members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Osun State chapter. The workshop had 19 participants from CAN and 22 participants from WOWICAN in attendance and was held at the CAN Secretariat Owode-Ede, Osun State.
This workshop was planned as a result of the advocacy visit by CEWHIN to CAN earlier in the year where we briefed CAN on the goals of our project and the role the church could play in the campaign to end violence against women and girls. The workshop however was organised to train CAN and WOWICAN as religious institutions on Gender-based violence, it’s effects and the need for psychosocial support for survivors within religious institutions.
Because the church plays an important role in our society, it is common for survivors to seek support from faith-based institutions. Therefore, this training emphasised on awareness raising as a major tool to drive change.
CEWHIN Associate – Sumbo Oladipo also described the psychological toll that abuse/violence takes on the lives of survivors and emphasised the need for gender-based violence awareness in church sermons, communique and even within pre-marital classes and church counselling sessions. Prof. Olabisi Aina in her session also explained the social construction of gender, gender-based violence, causes of GBV and it’s implication on survivors and the society.
Mrs. Funmilayo Abdullahi facilitated a session on Gender-based violence in it’s relation to persons with disabilities (PWDs), and inclusion within the church. She spoke on global best practices that could be employed by the church to make worship easier for persons with disabilities, different tips to help persons with disabilities, what to do and what not to do when interacting with persons who use aids such as crutches, canes and wheelchairs to move.
The Chairman of CAN Osun Chapter- Rt. Rev. Amos Kayode Olu. Ogunrinde appreciated CEWHIN for the training and pledged that CAN’s representatives at the training would step down the training to other members and help ensure religious institution play their part in the campaign to end violence against women and girls.