Mens Groups in Africa

Ebonyi Men's Resource Centre
Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Members of the Ebonyi Men's Resource Centre march in support of the Ebonyi Women's Day Celebration.
November 2006



EBONYI MEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE (EB-MRC)

Founded: 2006
149/151A, Hilltop Road, P. O. Box 794, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Founder/Director: Chief Mrs. Ugo Nnachi
Contact: dovenetng@yahoo.com

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Background:
Ebonyi State Nigeria has a population of a little below 3 million and women constitute more than half of the population. The women who are mostly found in the rural areas are largely illiterate but they are the ones that put food on the table through agriculture.

Women and girls have suffered various forms of violence ranging from wife battering, rape, acid bath, harsh widowhood practices, disinheritance, spousal murder, incest, threats, psychological violence, verbal abuse, sexual denial and abandonment of home and children. These have led to gradual family disintegration. The family institution is seriously being threatened by violence — hence the need for the present intervention of engaging men to eliminate violence.

DOVENET as an organization concerned with the promotion and protection of women and young peoples’ rights in Nigeria has been in the forefront in challenging violence to ensure gender equality and human rights for all. DOVENET’s contact with Men’s Resources International (MRI) at the Beijing + 10 Conference in New York gave birth to the vision for a Men’s Resource Centre in Nigeria.

Hitherto, activities on reducing Gender Based Violence have been women-centered making it difficult for an observable change. It is hoped that the present initiative will open new frontiers for progressive reduction of Gender Based Violence.

DOVENET’s identification of Gender Sensitive Men has proved that men are willing to effect change especially on the issue of Gender-Based Violence when effectively involved.

Vision:
The vision of Ebonyi Men’s Resource Centre is to ensure a society infused with the habit of equality and equity between men and women for peaceful co-existence and development in their communities.

Mission:
The mission of Ebonyi Men’s Resource Centre (EB-MRC) is to raise a crop of gender-sensitive men and a network of organizations interested in ending Gender-Based Violence by challenging obnoxious cultural practices.

Motto:
Join Create A Violence Free Society.

Benefits of Ebonyi Men's Resouce Centre (EB-MRC)

  • Establishment/Construction of a Resource Centre.
  • Reduction in the level of violence against women in the society through awareness creation.
  • Training Centre for the public on Conflict Resolution and Peace building.
  • Commencement of a Mentoring Programme for young men.
  • Establishment of Counseling Centre for victims of domestic violence and their perpetrators.
  • Public enlightenment on issues of Gender-Based Violence.
  • Establishment of a computer centre for skill training.

Strategy:
Male support for women initiatives has been absent in Nigeria. Apart from government involvement in some women initiatives, I cannot recall any male support to women especially on Gender-Based Violence. This present initiative is the only one that has successfully engaged men for a better society.

Strategies for implementing the project will include:

  • Education/Enlightenment through workshops, seminars, symposia, training of trainers to involve Police, Legislators, Traditional Rulers, Women Groups and Civil Society Organizations.
  • Advocacy to all strategic groups and arms of government in Ebonyi State and Nigeria.
  • Networking with like-minded organizations to ensure steady growth.
  • Multi-Media involvement: Print & Electronic, community theatre, Publications, handbills, posters, distribution of Domestic Violence Bill and enlightenment, floating of a Newsletter.
  • Religious Involvement: Working with Faith Based Organizations.

It is hoped that members of the Centre with their allies will ensure the realization of the target set.

Membership:
The membership will be drawn from interested men and women who share the vision of eliminating Gender-Based Violence.

While the Ebonyi Men’s Resource Centre (EB-MRC) is first of such Centres in Nigeria, effort is being made to commence the establishment of similar Centres across the States in Nigeria using the Ebonyi Centre as the pilot.

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Updates and Activities

21 July 2008 | DOVENET and Ebonyi Men's Resource Centre Carry Community Sensitization on Violence Against Women to LGAs.
Sent by founder/director: Chief Mrs. Ugo Nnachi

Ebonyi Men's Resource Center in collaboration with DOVENET has commenced a sensitization programme in accordance with their strategic plan of action to take the message of reducing violence against women to the grassroots. The sensitization workshop, which kicked off in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State had community leaders, youths and women in attendance. The participants identified major setbacks in protecting women's rights and fighting violence to include:

  • Culture of the people.
  • Poverty on the part of the women.
  • Ignorance of the women on their rights.
  • Male dominance.

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Mens Groups in Africa
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