Hacking Gender Inequality in Ngenevu, Nigeria

Hacking Gender Inequality in Ngenevu, Nigeria

One of the major problems affecting women and girls in Ngenevu community is poor or no access to information on health, economic opportunities, social and human rights and other development issues.

Poor access to information can be attributed to low literacy level and poverty among the women and girls living in the community. This project aims at bridging the knowledge and information gap experienced by the women by increasing access to information using audio formats.

The preliminary assessment shows that about 80% of the women reported that they own cellphones but do not have knowledge on use of internet and smart phones. Due to the low educational background and poverty among the community members, most of the persons have the perception that the use and knowledge of internet is for persons living in the urban area and the rich.

Due to the high level of poverty and lack of access to information among women and girls in Ngenevu community, gender based violence (GBV) continues to thrive. The women experience fear of speaking up about the GBV issues. They do not have information about where to seek help on right issues. Also, there is poor access to information on environmental and sanitation practices. Women in Ngenevu lack access to proper hygiene and good sanitation practises which leads to poor hygiene practices among them. Most families practice open defecation and this leads to disease outbreak and ill health.

In addition, due to poverty and lack of information among the women, they often resort to self-medication, visit to traditional healers and religious organizations for their health care needs. This leads to late presentation to hospitals for medical attention which results to high mortality rate, disability and sometimes death. The women lack access to maternal health care. Due to the high cost of accessing healthcare the women resort to patronizing local birth attendants who are not able to handle complicated health issues and this often leads to death during pregnancy and child birth. The community lacks social support system. They do not have access to health care services. The only health center in the community is dilapidated.

In conclusion, the situation analysis revels that there is low literacy level and poverty among the women and girls in Ngenevu community. This has limited their ability to have access to relevant information. The project aims to bridge this gap by providing appropriate information putting into consideration the low level of literacy of the women and girls by providing the information in audio formats.

The project intends to target women and girls who constitute the most vulnerable within the selected community to bridge the gap between them and information on how to improve their social-economic wellbeing using Audiopedia. This will involve the use of Audiopedia Web App. Audio information on health, right and empowerment will be updated every month. Furthermore, this information will be downloaded by the Community Volunteers (CVs) and stored in a memory card for the participant to insert into their MP3, smart phone, or both.

Students from the University of Nigeria led by Dr. Chris Udochukwu translated and recorded Audiopedia contents into Igbo, the local language spoken by women in the community. They adapted the Audiopedia Web App, which was then used for local community outreach activities by GLRA Nigeria.