Photo: Abiodun Essiet

Healthcare: UNFPA says Safe Spaces initiative essential to restoring confidence for Nigerian women

*The United Nations Population Fund holds that Women and Girls Safe Spaces provides a platform as a safe place for women and girls to make friends, have fun, and discuss their concerns as well as their needs, espcially in North-East Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In providing a veritable platform through which women and girls can meet and interact for their wellbeing, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says Women and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) is significant to restoring confidence, hope and building network among the female gender in North-East Nigeria.

Hajiya Kori Habib, the fund’s Media Associate, who said this in a statement Wednesday, June 16 in Abuja, FCT, noted that the WGSS is an avenue for reunion and interaction aimed at rebuilding lost confidence.

The WGSS Media Associate said: “Women and Girls Safe Spaces also provides a platform through which women and girls meet daily.

“It is a place safe enough for women and girls to make friends, have fun, discuss their concerns and needs.

“It is also an environment conducive enough to acquire skills and get information on various issues such as Gender-Based Violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, hygiene and sanitation.”

The statement noted that the platform is for women and girls to freely express their minds and exchange ideas on things peculiar to them, and it operates between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through weekdays.

It said: “UNFPA trained and deployed GBV and Sexual Reproductive Health frontlines to such places through Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to ensure sustainability, managed with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols.

“During these sessions, general information on GBV, SRH, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and menstrual hygiene are provided to the women and girls.”

Hajiya Habib further explained: “The team comprises of two frontline psychosocial support counselors who conduct group sessions with up to 60 participants per week.

“On average, around 160 people are reached in these sessions in safe space per month.”

Information dissemination was carried out by community mobilisers who gave GBV-related information through house-to-house visits, the statement said.

The Women and Girls Safe Space platform added the information dissemination sessions focus on types of GBV and the importance of seeking timely care, as well as existing referral pathways for women and girls.

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