Violence against women and girls is a pressing issue in Guinea, as they are still not guaranteed the right to family planning and to control their bodies! Women and girls are mainly expected to serve their husbands to the detriment of their well-being. Convergence pour le développement durable (CODD-Convergence for Sustainable Development) launched a project to foster constructive dialogue on GBV/SSRD in light of these inequalities. It involves identifying and training young girls and women from various communities in one of Conakry’s communes (Matoto) to initiate transformative discussions and inspire behavioral change.
The AFD (Agence Française de Développement) sponsors this initiative under the Feminists in Action Project.
BY THEM AND FOR THEM
Matoto is one of Conakry’s most densely populated communes, with a high incidence of gender-based violence (GBV). This project involved identifying ten groups of women and girls with the help of the local authorities. Each group had to select two girls/women, based on their enthusiasm, commitment, and knowledge of GBV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), to lead the transformative dialogue with their peers.
The goal is to use community-based mechanisms to help young girls and women change their attitudes to GBV and sexual and SRHR in their own communities. This approach fosters a sense of autonomy among girls and women, giving them the power to make decisions about their sexual rights and to combat GBV. The community-based program consisted of holding regular “transformative dialogues” in the commune of Matoto.
PAIRING WOMEN AND GIRLS TO OPEN UP THE DEBATE
Two specialists on GBV coached 20 girls and women representing 10 groups on SRHR, communications techniques, organizing transformative talk sessions, and data collection. Participants were paired off for the training, and each pair suggested a work plan to facilitate a transformative dialogue. The groups were dispatched to different neighborhoods of Matoto commune, where two supervisors assisted them in leading discussions. The project led 30 sessions, reaching 533 people, revealing 65 cases of GBV, and referring 86 people to the AGBEF clinic and BlueEcoute in Kaloum.
Thanks to this transformative and widespread dialogue, and with the support of Office de Protection genre, enfance et mœurs (the “Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals”, OPROGEM), the program made a positive difference.
This article was written by the Equipop team 🙂