International Women’s Day
“Imagine a world where difference is valued and celebrated”.
One of the reasons 29yr old Chidiebere Okolo signed up for our community volunteers scheme is because she believes in the gains of building communities. She also understands a thing or two about what it feels like to be discriminated against. So now, she devotes her time fighting for equality for all. Together with 19 other young people passionate about community development, she worked on our project “Enhancing access to Health Education via Audiopedia“ awarded to DAHW as part of the EU/BMZ #SmartDevopmentHack.
It is estimated that 20.7% of the women population in the 5 Southeastern States of Nigeria are illiterate. Literacy is vital to community building, important probably, only next to health. This statistic is more evident in poor and rural communities, which compounds already dire predicaments. A lack of education hinders these women’s progress and removes from them the critical ability to make decisions about their lives.
What we did involve working with Chidiebere and the others to think up solutions with the communities on how to lower these staggering statistics. We were able to select women and girls who cannot read and write and provide them access to health and development information. Our solution was to bring them health and development information in an audio format; in their local language since they can’t read and write. Identifying the gaps in knowledge on health and development information with them helped in selecting topics that will solve these gaps. These topics were translated and voiced in the Igbo language, which can be found here audiopedia.org/ig/Ihu_mbu. Then we provided access to the audio information using WhatsApp or SD cards. Many of them were taught simple use of WhatsApp, so they can use the voice icon to ask questions and communicate. After 4 months of intervention, their knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) tremendously improved. This community can now make informed decisions about their health and development.
“Watching these women and girls learn new things and how that knowledge transforms their lives changed me in so many ways. I have suffered discrimination based on my appearance and it has affected me in the past but not anymore. Finding and connecting with the right community is key, building a resilient and sustainable community is important. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move forward. We must work together to level the playing field for all. I have joined the movement to address one of the core issues leading to gender inequalities, which is illiteracy. I am committed to doing my best.” Chidiebere.
Are you in? Will you actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping each time you see it? Will you join our campaign to help illiterate women and girls have access to credible health and development information as to enable take their destiny into their hands?
Will you help break the bias?
Cross your arms to show solidarity.
Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, or video on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias (don’t forget to tag us) to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.