Helping women find jobs or raise their incomes in Nigeria can put them at heightened risk of violent abuse by boyfriends, husbands and the public, a World Bank study has found.
The study aimed to assess the risks of Nigeria For Women project, a $100 million programme to improve women’s livelihoods by providing grants, skills training and business advice.
It found there was a substantial risk of “backlash”, particularly by intimate partners, as women gain independence or their financial contributions increase, said Varalakshmi Vemuru, a lead social development specialist at the World Bank.
“This is a society where gender norms are strictly defined,” Vemuru said.
“As soon as you see women showing independence… people feel threatened,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The team interviewed about 200 people, including political, religious and traditional leaders and community members of various ages to understand the culture, she said.
The research was completed last year and the project is due to begin soon. Some men said they feared their wives would leave them if they were financially independent, and women told stories of being verbally and physically abused for entering the workforce.
To reduce the risks the study recommended portraying women as hard-working and virtuous rather than “empowered”, holding meetings in the daytime in safe places, and giving men roles to play so they would not feel insecure.
The programme will also map services for victims of violence and train community members on prevention and response.
The United Nations women’s agency in Nigeria said they have also found that increasing women’s agency or income can lead to a violent backlash, even to the point of murder.
Including men in programmes and emphasizing the benefits to them is key, even though the aim is to benefit women, said U.N. Women national programme officer Patience Ekeoba.
“We try to make men feel that this is not about taking power away from them, it’s about the family,” Ekeoba said.
“If by involving men we can save the life of one woman, I say why not.”
The risks are primarily short-term since women’s economic empowerment programmes have been shown to reduce gender-based violence over the long-term, in part by giving women the power to leave abusive relationships, according to the World Bank.
Senate donates December salaries to victims of Kaduna airstrike
FDA approves gene-editing treatment for sickle cell patients
Everton trash Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park
Manchester City overcome Luton town 2-0
Tottenham thrash injury-hit Newcastle United 4-1
Arteta avoids controversy after Arsenal’s VAR woes
BBNaija’s Khloe laments loss of quality men after BBL
Senate donates N109m December salaries to Kaduna airstrike victims
Oladips: Many Nigerian musicians are depressed, Idowest opens up
Onana howlers, Ziyech heroics dent Man Utd UCL hopes
World’s oldest living triplets clock 93, get GWR recognition
Vincent Enyeama receives honorary doctorate from UNIUYO
Edo 2024: PDP will decide Shaibu’s fate – Obaseki
Kogi, Bayelsa, Imo voters set to elect new govt
Wheelbarrow pusher kills tax collector, self in Edo
Abia to increase minimum wage for workers
VIDEO: Thugs invade Osun APC secretariat
VIDEO: Strayed cow goes berserk inside NYSC orientation camp in Ogun
VIDEO: Are black cats bad luck?
VIDEO: Does COVID-19 only affect rich people?
VIDEO: Will I remain single if someone sweeps over my feet with a broom?
VIDEO: Gani Adams rallies Benin Republic monarchs for Sunday Igboho
FIDIO: Ǹjẹ́ Gbogbo Akitiyan Ìjọba Láti Mú Ẹ̀yìn Olóyè Sunday Ìgbòho Balẹ̀ Yìí Tọ́ Àbí Kò Tọ́?
VIDEO: Pastor Tunde Bakare declares National Movement
News17 hours ago
Ismaila Sodiq wins Remo Stars November Player of the Month award
News22 hours ago
Nigerian publishers advocates revival of paper industry
News16 hours ago
Inflation: IMF urges CBN to raise interest rates
News17 hours ago
Climate change: Nature-based solutions underfunded despite anual $7trn investment – UNDP
News18 hours ago
Pastor Adeboye reveals how, when he wishes to die
Politics18 hours ago
Egypt heads to poll amid Gaza unrest
News14 hours ago
TCN appeals for security support amidst rising vandalism
News18 hours ago
FG renews commitment to eradicate gender-based violence