Sister guardian Initiative

An initiative to prevent gender based violence


Research by the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey shows that 31 percent of women aged 15 – 49 have experienced physical violence and 9 percent have been exposed to sexual violence.  In Southeast Nigeria, 35.7 percent of women have experienced physical violence and 12 percent have experienced sexual violence. Most rural communities in Nigeria do not have structures to support women facing domestic violence. The little support that exists – pro bono legal services and safe houses, can only be accessed in the state capitals.

The Sister Guardian Initiative (SGI) is South Saharan Social Development Organization’s flagship project on reducing violence against women (VAW) at the community level.
SSDO institutes community-based women groups -SGI Chapters, to advocate against GBV and provide immediate survivor-centred support to survivors through counselling, temporary shelters, and referrals. The program also builds the capacity of law enforcement and health officials to respond to GBV cases according to international best practices; and support traditional leaders to institutionalise by-laws against GBV.

The Sister Guardian Initiative is currently implemented in 19 communities in Enugu and Anambra State.

Each SGI Chapter is led by a community of ten women, four of which hold leadership positions within influential institutions in the host community – religious, political, economic, and traditional institutions.

Each ten-member executive committee is comprised of:

The wife of the traditional ruler
The Market woman leader
The community political woman leader
The church woman leader (Christian Women Organization)
Six ordinary members
The women leaders serve on the SGI committee as long as they hold their respective positions in their parent institutions, hence, only current women leaders can serve on the SGI committee.



Capacity Building

The Sister Guardian Initiative conducts various capacity building sessions. The women are being exposed to the knowledge on women’s right and the law, their role in politics, how they can generate income and also maintaining good mental and physical health.

Monthly Meetings

The Sister Guardian women in all communities observe monthly meetings to discuss their achievements, challenges and way forward. They also entertain fresh domestic violence cases on such days from complainants.

Advocacy Meetings

The Sister Guardian Women often embark on community advocacy to promote the cessation of Gender Based Violence in their communities.

International women's day

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. The Sister Guardian women join women all over the world to commemorate the March 8, International Women’s Day. Such opportunities are used to advocate for community development programs.

16 days of activism

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.This is commemorated annually by the women through road walks, outreaches, advocacy visits and community development projects.

activity Photos

Some of the Moments

Women standing up for other women facing domestic violence and other forms of abuse

Blog Posts


The beauty of any initiative is the ability to identify new opportunities that align with its objective to increase impact opportunities. This we constantly strive

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