Noura is a widow aged about sixty years and a mother of five children. She has lived in Bokoro for over ten years, but was unaware of the legal amenities available for women. She is the vice president of an association of poor women that ACORD has been supporting by providing training, awareness sessions and financial support. Noura was unaware of all that is the protection of women regardless of their identity. She integrated the listening center Bokoro and works much more with girls.
“I am one of the women in the association of widows and orphans in Bokoro. I have just attended a training organised by ACORD on in the fight against violence against women and have previously attended many training courses on other areas such as food security. For me, I never imagined that women have such important rights as men. After information sessions, workshops and training on the lives of women, especially the value of women in relation to the law, it is time to say no to anything that hinders the development of the woman.
That is why I decided to help other women who are victims of violence. In the case of Achta Mahamat who was abused by her husband to the point of giving up, I brought the issue before the Bokoro brigade commander who initially was difficult given the traditional rules. The captain finally decided the case in the full knowledge of parents, friends, neighbours and others. The victim was reinstated in her rights, that is to say damages and recognition of rights.
Mrs. Fatimé Alamine is also a member of the Widows and Orphans Association. She is a mother of five children and a widow, living in Bokoro is about fifty years. This association has received a lot of training from ACORD regarding issues women are facing. Initially, she was unaware about the rights and duties of women and girls, because, for her, the woman is likely to remain at home and is not entitled to access to land. Today, she works with women at the Bokoro centre to make sure women understand what they really are.
“I am the secretary of the association of widows and orphans in Bokoro. I was a victim of a land expropriation. Two years ago, I had a piece of land for two years clearly demarcated, located two kilometers from the city of Bokoro. One day, early in the morning, one of my neighbours informed me that he had seen masons building on my land.
I approached the masons and asked had contracted them to build. They gave me the name of a renowned man from the locality. So I approached him and asked him to tear down his wall but he refused and challenged me using his social status. I made use of my training on the rights of women received through ACORD. I brought a complaint to the brigade level, which in turn transferred the case to the courts for the settlement of the dispute by the prosecutor. Despite threats and corruption, justice decided the case in my favour. I won the trial!”
Mr. Assoué Idogo is a civil servant, a teacher in a primary school and a director at the school. He is 34-years-old and a father of three children who are all boys. He has become an agent of change in his community by integrating the trainings he has received from ACORD to support the fight against discrimination and violence against women.
“I had participated in training workshops on violence against women, as a youth representative of the Protestant mission in Bokoro. These interests are personally very important to me as traditions, habits and pride prevented me to recognise women’s rights. The formation of paralegals and men to men groups really opened my eyes to what I have to do for my wife and other women. This is the case of a friend whose home was not peace. They were always fighting but after receiving training, I'm worked with the couple for two weeks to resolve their dispute.”
The partnership with traditional chiefs
Through the creation of the Abtouyour Listening Centre, women are significantly involved in advocacy related to gender-based violence and overcoming the difficulties that victims face. The intervention of ACORD in the area has led to the regional chief and his chiefs and men’s organisations to create an oversight committee to address violence against women that occurred in the village. The behaviour change action advocated by ACORD in the project that aims to promote equality for all gives women a leading role in the field of development.
According to the Notable Chef Canton of Abtouyour, there was a case of economic violence where the children had lost their father.
“They had a garden with fruit trees. The elder son, who lives in the capital Ndjamena, decided to sell the garden without consulting his sisters. The sisters were informed of their rights and the issue was brought to the canton chief together with the Islamic Committee.
They resolved that the buyer must go to Ndjamena to get back his money from their brother from whom he bought the garden. However, a dispute continued between the sisters on one hand and the family of the buyer. This was brought back to the leaders who fined the buyer 175000f. The case was finally settled as a result of the training given by ACORD and the work of listening centres.”