Women in Leadership Spotlight: Doris Jenis Maiyamba, Supporting Rape Victims in Nigeria
Doris Jenis Maiyamba is the United Methodist Women President for the Northern Nigeria Annual Conference and the Harper Hill Global coordinator in the Nigeria Episcopal area.
Doris joined the Harper Hill Global team in 2017. In this story, she explains what compelled her to join HHG.
“I am the women’s network leader in my annual conference. I was glad when I heard about Harper Hill Global from Reverend Neelley Hicks when we met during the General Conference in 2016. When Rev. Neelley told me about Harper Hill Global and their work, I remembered how women – especially underage girls – are suffering as victims of rape. Then I thought to myself, ‘How can I contribute to HHG? How can I save the lives of thousands of young girls and women entirely in my annual conference and the Nigeria Episcopal area?’ In fact, the stigmatization of rape is one of the serious diseases that kill most young girls and women,” Doris says in the interview with Daniel Garba, a member of the Nigeria Episcopal community.
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Doris’ Work to Fight Injustice
In 2017, after the general conference, Doris started a door to door campaign to promote awareness on the dangers of rape and that victims can find a way out. She encouraged women to arise and fight against the challenges that deny their rights as a part of God’s creation. During the campaign, many women realized that they have a right to speak out and joined the campaign against rape and stigma.
In 2018, Doris received news from Daniel Garba about a woman named Ladidi. Ladidi was a young woman, who at the age of 21, lost her life to HIV/AIDS as a result of rape. Sadly, her burial was poor due to the stigma that surrounds women who have been victims of rape. Only a few people attended the burial for Ladidi, unlike a usual burial in the community when thousands of laities and clergy would attend and give their condolences. With the help of Harper Hill Global, the hearts of Ladidi’s parents were warmed when Rev. Neelley received hundreds of messages of condolence from all over the world. Rev. Neelley sent those messages to Ladidi’s parents through Daniel Garba and Doris. The news of the messages also gave other women strength to work to end the stigmatization of rape victims through Doris’ campaign.
Doris’ work as a Women Arise coordinator has given hope to many victims of rape and other forms of violence toward women. She organized a workshop that showed the a short animated film from Harper Hill Global in 2018 during a special session at a women’s revival. She taught during the young female gathering and the Northern Nigeria Conference session. Her work was not only directed at Christians, but also to Muslims and other faiths. She has also attended the gathering of non-United Methodist denominations, non-governmental organizations, and met with rape victims and perpetrators to provide counseling and courage to the victim’s families.
In February 2018, Doris and her team members organized a drama and presented it at the 2018 women’s gathering. This drama gave hope to victims of stigma. One example of this stigma against women specifically targets widows who are falsely accused of killing their husbands and later ostracized by people. For these women to prove their innocence, they were expected to drink the water that was used to wash the body of their late husbands. When some women refused to do this, they would continue to face the social stigma.
Doris has been very active in 2019, too. This past February, Doris organized a class through Women Arise to educate more
As a result of Doris’ teachings and campaign, many women from various denominations and other faiths have welcomed the Women Arise mission. Throughout her campaign, she also showed animated videos of Cholera, HIV, AIDS, militias, and many others. These animations opened the eyes of many women on how to help victims and prevent the spread of disease.
Thank you to Harper Hill Global, and long live Women Arise in Nigeria and around the world.
Story by Daniel Garba, Women Arise Communicator, Nigeria Episcopal Area