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Poverty, violence among women cause of drug abuse – UN

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Damaturu

Poverty and gender-based violence (GBV) against women are the major factors responsible for drug abuse among the women folks.

This was one of the outcomes of a one-day sensitisation training facilitated by the United Nations, Search for Common Grounds in Damaturu Friday.

Addressing journalists, the group’s legal adviser, Barr Fati Mohammed said the training was basically to open up and look for a way forward having realised that the number of drug abuse among women is on the increase.

“We intend to counsel and empower them. Many are willing to denounce the act to get out of the drugs abuse but do not know how to go about it.”

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She further said they were in partnership with traditional leaders and security agencies to reduce the menace.

One of the participants, Aisha Abdullahi, told The Nigerian Voice that on her own part, poverty and lack of the means of livelihood were the responsible factors.

“I take drugs to forget some of my sorrows; I am the first born and all the family burdens are on me and I do not have anything to do for living.”

Another participant, Fatima Mohammed, said because she could not bear a child her husband divorced her, saying at the moment, there were eight ladies into drugs abuse and prostitution staying with her.

Although the participants showed remorse, but said they did not have any substitute to what they were doing. They called on governments and organisations to empower them.

Twenty women and ladies from across the state who participated in the workshop themed ‘Understanding drug abuse and substance, counselling, prevention and control.’

In a related development, the organisation has also trained 25 security personnel comprising the police, army and civil defense corps on GBV.

The group said it is a phenomenon deeply rooted and also one of the human right violence within societies. It was acknowledged that both sexes experienced violence but that it’s widely inflicted on women.

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