WRAPA Secretary General Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi (MFR) was in Dakar to celebrate the international women’s Day 2017 on the wings of Trust Africa civil society strategy retreat.
This was aimed at Developing advocacy strategies and interventions for the deployment of domestic and international justice mechanism for victims of conflict in Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
The Activity was a success as many strategies were developed for the deployment of domestic and international justice mechanism for victims of conflict in Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
Reportage showing indications of a rise in the prevalence of domestic Violence abound in the media, Police stations, NGO and CBO records.
In a society like Nigeria, where the tenets of faith are taken seriously, the expectation would be one in which the fear of God, will direct the actions of adherents with weekly admonitions on Fridays and Sundays.
However, this is not the case in public and private spaces. A recurring location of violations is the home, which should ideally be the safe place for all its members.Women and children have testimonies that stupify a listener to the bitter and harrowing experiences of Domestic Violence (DV). Directly or indirectly, everyone is affected while the profiles of perpetrators is all inclusive.
The mandate of WRAPA among other things is to promote and protect the rights of women; enhance and support them to access justice. Other related mandates are education through sensitization whereby knowledge is shared with women and other stakeholders on rights, responsibilities as well guidance for actions when such rights are violated.
Increasing awareness and educating citizens is an imperative to support victims and survivors especially in seeking help in abusive relationships and environments. Against this backdrop,WRAPA conducted a family workshop session on Domestic Violence at St Monica Catholic Church, Karu, Nasarawa State. The event which took place on Saturday 18th March 2017; was facilitated by WRAPA Senior Program/Project Coordinator, Mrs. Anisah Ari-Amunega.
The session centred on domestic violence’ it’s meaning, forms, prevalence, location, effects, profiles of perpetrators, warning signs and symptoms, actions expected of victims/survivors and the roles expected of individuals, family members, relatives and religious leaders in curbing the impunity.
Without mincing words and in clear simple language, Anisah spoke using life experiences of domestic violence. to show the damaging effects it has on the victim. She implored Parishioners to understand and commit to ending domestic violence in their homes or those of nearby persons who may lack the capacity to act. Using quotes from the Bible to explain how the man should treat his wife and how a woman should treat her husband, she passed on the message of love, peace, and mutual respect for the human dignity of one anotther.
She further enlightened the Church community of the need to break the cycle of violence in the lives of people we know. She also emphasised the need for victims to speak up while communities and families must commit to establishing a zero tolerance culture to Domestic Violence. Other major highlights included tips on how to handle domestic violence at the earliest before it becomes a cycle of fear, assault and destruction of body and psyche.
It was an interactive engagement giving the church local community and WRAPAthe opportunity for mutual learning and sharing.
At the end of the session, the parishioners expressed gratitude to WRAPA while committing to vigilance and support for domestic violence survivors in their midst.
WRAPA is planning to institutionalise the intervention for replication in other places or platforms of faith.
WRAPA held a twitter conference from 8th March, 2017 (to mark the International Women’s Day 2017) – 14th March, 2017 to discuss issues surrounding the Affirmative Action, Gender Based Violence, access to legal aid for survivors as well as clarifying all the controversies surounding the Gender and Equal Oppurtunities Bill. The conference was tagged #LetsTalkGBV.
The conference featured a lot of high profile gender experts from Nigeria as panelists and many high profile participants, A lot of salient questions were asked, contributions and comments were made and controversial narratives were clarified
This conference projected the work or WRAPA with increased calls on our help lines, emails reporting gender based violence, as well as increase in the awareness on the dangers of the human cost of Violence Against Women (VAW)
WRAPA conducted a Knowledge Update for Parliamentarians with a focus to Scale up Male Involvement in Advocacy to Champion the Passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill and Implementation of the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Law in Plateau State
The workshop met its set objectives as the Parliamentarians, Legislative clerks and Administrative staff of the Plateau State House of Assembly had improved knowledge on provisions of the VAPP Bill and the need to give their support towards the smooth passage of the Bill. The selected Parliamentarians pledged their full support to the passage of the Bill while the Administrative staff who the Deputy Speaker referred to as the engine room of the House promised to advocate for the smooth passage of the VAPP and consequently, its implementation.
This is an OXFAM GB funded project on Regional Legal Empowerment Programme for Women’s Rights in Kaduna and Plateau States
On the 13th of March 2017, WRAPA met with its collaborators on The Promoting Safety and Security for Girl-Child Education project (PSSGE) which are the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and Adopt-A-Camp to brainstorm and review its communication Strategy, presentation, review and validation of generated messages, review of baseline report, fixing of date for the project launch
The meeting was started with the alteration of the agenda to reflect a few changes. The opening prayer was said by Mallam Mohammed Gombe. Anisah-Ari Amunega, senior programme cordinator of WRAPA in her welcome address apologized for the unavoidable absence of the Secretary General of WRAPA, Saudatu Mahdi (MFR) who is currently out of the country.
She stated that the project has faced extenuating circumstances which has led to the stalling of the project.
During the last meeting which held in November 2016, all parties in attendance agreed to develop messages and tailor messages to suit particular communities.
This meeting will be on deliberation of messages and fine-tuning them to suit the needs of the individual communities.
Everyone was implored to make meaningful contributions to discussions so that at the end of the meeting, the house will be able to come up with messages that will promote the aim of the project which is promoting safety and security for the girl child education in the North East. Tunji Olanrewaju of Adopt-A-Camp added that in development, local community led level has proved to be the most effective. He asked everyone to embrace the right messages for the communities and intended recipients and everyone should work on achieving desired results for the project.
Review of Communication strategy and tools
This was anchored by Mr Hamza from CITAD. He gave a brief review for those who were absent at the last meeting. The project is a collaborative effort of WRAPA, ADOPT-A-CAMP and CITAD.
Aim of the project is to promote education for girls especially in the IDP camps.
Enrolment figures have drastically reduced in the region especially as a result of the insurgency. The project aims at encouraging IDPs to re-enroll their daughters back in school.
The process is context of the message to be generated which has been done through a one day workshop in December. The messages will be disseminated in accordance with norms and cultures of the recipients of the messages.
The use of conventional and social media will be employed in this process. There will be quarterly assessment to determine the effectiveness of the tools.
The target audience has been identified and they include the girls themselves, their parents, communities, government, NGOs and other partners.
The messages will be tailored to appeal to the various recipients in an effective manner that will leave a lasting impression.
The tools to be applied include radio (jingles, featured discussions and special documentaries), social media, newspapers as well as posters and leaflets.
The message matrix showing the recipient, message objectives, message itself and means of dissemination was analyzed.
The risks and mitigating strategies were also highlighted. Some of them include close working relationship with the authorities, and documenting government’s efforts in ensuring schools are safe and secured. This will help in persuading the positions of the IDPs who believe they have been abandoned by the government.
A simple monitoring process was also attached. Each tool had its own monitoring indicators. These include analysis of analytics for social media, audience response analysis to be monitored through the use of questionnaires, sample population interviews, Key Informants Interviews (KII).
A quarterly review shall be done of the communication engagement which will inform actions to be taken on it.
It was noted after the presentation by a participant that the aspect of security was skimmed. It was also pointed out that security forums are an integral part and discussions should be spread to targeting them as well. This is because securing their commitment will be easier than that of the government agencies.
An example was given of how these forces in Azare helped repel Boko Haram attacks in the community.
It was added that they are key to the sustainability of the project. If vigilante groups can be integrated into the project, they can continue with securing schools long after the expiration of the project.
A participant stated that a form of this is already in existence and we should focus on strengthening their abilities.
Religious leaders were also suggested as key actors in the project given their influence and high following.
Another participant suggested that we partner with ‘’Dan Da Kura’’ a radio programme which broadcasts in Kanuri and Hausa. The programme is a UNICEF initiative and has distributed several radio sets to various IDP camps. Activities should also be targeted at host communities given how temporary the IDP camps are.
An observation was made that the tools didn’t take into account the interests of the girl child who happens to be the main focus of the project. It was suggested that a mini research be conducted to find out what holds the attention of young girls.
It was suggested that an event be organized where leaflets and posters can be distributed to the girls. The use of radio might not be effective at passing the message across to the girls. An objection to this was raised that the girls might not have the same literary skills as their urban counterparts.
To circumvent this issue, it was suggested that the leaflets should mostly contain info graphs which doesn’t require a high level of intelligence to decipher.
It was stated that we should avoid putting the cart before the horse by talking at infographs at this point. Several processes will be undertaken such as interactive sessions with the girls so as to determine appropriate strategies to be used.
Girls in school can be used as an example to those out of school as an indication of what they can achieve if they go back to school.
The idea of a general strategy was shut down as messages must be tailored to suit the particular community. Strategies must also be localized for them to be fully effective; therefore they will differ from state to state.
It was pointed out that the message matrix could be made smarter therefore it should be reworked to include inputs made at the meeting. It was also advised that an estimate of the number of radio stations where jingles will be aired should be included. This will help with the budgeting process.
Apart from the main social media handles that will be created for the project, other partner organizations should also use their influence to create a buzz for the project and promote the social media messages.
The monitoring methodology also needs to be re-worked. The reach indicator should be changed to output indicator. Impact should be changed to outcome. The analysis of the analytics for social media should be evidence of data collection and should be in figures.
Teachers should also be included as a targeted audience given their influence especially among local communities. The audience should be grouped into primary, secondary and tertiary audience. Key recipients can now be classified under these categories.
Deliberations took place on the Facebook and Twitter handles. It was suggested that languages to be employed are English and local languages. The twitter handle was agreed as @PSSGE_NG while the User name will be PSSGE North East. This will be replicated on Facebook as well.
Presentation, Review & Validation of generated messages
CITAD gave the first presentation on the tentative messages developed. The languages to be employed are English, Hausa and Fulfude as they are the most common languages in the region.
The messages were analyzed and rephrased where necessary. Infographs should be applied where applicable. Messages should be sequential and put in bullet points for brevity and clarity. Sensibilities of the target audience must also be put in consideration given the horror they’ve been through.
WRAPA’s messages were also considered and necessary corrections made. It was pointed out that there should be no ambiguities in the messages as it would be impossible for us to be on ground to explain it to the recipients.
Review Of Key Actors Map & Engagement Templates
Key actors include the government, parents, community associations, teachers, pupils and others. Their roles were examined in detail and the strategies to be employed in engaging them.
The government will include executive (Ministries on religious and women affairs), security agencies, legislature (house committee on education and IDPs), Religious leaders (Council of Ulamas, JNI, CAN, Emirs), Traditional Rulers, Community associations (vigilante groups, hunters association), Parents, SBMCs, PTAs, FOMWAN, Matan Zumunta, Teachers (NUT, ANCOPs, Private Schools Proprietors Association), Pupils, Others (NGOs, Relief Workers, Media Outleets, Trades Association e.t.c)
At the last meeting in November, the M &E expert was told to rework some issues arising in the report. A table of content was suggested to be included after the first cover page to make it easier. Other necessary corrections and inputs to the report were made.
The conclusion and recommendations need to be fleshed out. The recommendations need to be more concrete.
Gombe was suggested as the state for launching the project. Participants resident in the region stated that this might not be a good idea. This is due to the fact that other states that have felt the brunt of the insurgency most might feel slighted.
After much consideration, Damaturu, Yobe was suggested as the most viable state. The launch date was fixed for 11th April 2017. Advocacy visits will be carried out from 4th to 7th April 2017, the week preceding the launch date.
Mohammed Maifada, Senior Executive Admin of WRAPA gave the closing remarks and the meeting ended at about 5:30pm.
- Harmonized communication messages
- Tentative date for launching of project fixed
- Reviewed baseline
The Next steps:
- Launch of project in Damaturu(tentatively) on the 11th of April 2017.
- Fine-tuning messages and message tools.
- There is need to tailor the messages to suit the particular community it will be addressed to, as the one-size fit all approach won’t work.
Mrs Evelyn Ojonimi, is a mother of three (3) kids, who hails from Kogi State, married to Mr Tijanni Ojonimi. Mrs Evelyn sought the assistance of WRAPA to intervene in her marital life and economic situation.
Mrs Evelyn lodged complaints of being assaulted by her husband (domestic violence) countlessly and also lodged complaints of difficulty in feeding and carrying out her duties as a mother to her kids because of stiff cash inflow due to the poor economic situation of both herself and her spouse.
WRAPA as usual, happily intervened in her case; WRAPA invited her spouse over for interactive discussions in form of hearings and counselling. WRAPA appealed to his conscience and humanity and made him see reasons against his former acts on his spouse. WRAPA eventually won him over and he made a firm resolve never to go back to such acts again. In addition to resolving their economic crisis and feeding difficulties, WRAPA set Mrs Evelyn up in a small scale food stuff business and also provided food stuff and cooking materials for the family consumption.
In an interview with Mrs Evelyn, she said “I thank WRAPA so very much for the good work they are doing in the lives of women in Nigeria, I am very grateful for the assistance they have given myself and my family, and may God bless them in abundance”. Mrs Evelyn further confirmed that she is very happy with the services and assistance rendered to her.
This is a wakeup call to every other woman out there going through closely related or similar situation to speak up. WRAPA is always ready to help.