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Mapping of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Internally Displaced Camps & Selected Communities in Borno State – WRAPA holds meeting for Mapping Report Presentation

Maiduguri-IDP-Camp-Sexual-abuse-1024x768

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) was supported by TrustAfrica to conduct a mapping research aimed at data and documentation to provide a more comprehensive review of the nature and prevalence of SGBV incidents within the context insurgency in Borno State. Aimed at providing documented evidence derived directly from engagements with key stakeholders and survivors in camps and host communities, the mapping research has two primary objectives:

  • Conduct a mapping of voluntarily declared survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the IDP camps and affected (selected) communities in Borno State for the purposes of appropriate documentation to support the advocacy for accountability of actors in conflict.
  • Provide programming content towards psychosocial and other relevant supports for Sexual and Gender Based Violence survivors.

The research study has now been completed and a report has been put together, thus a need for its presentation. The presentation of this report was done over a meeting with all project members on the 20th July, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The project team led by the Project Director and Secretary General of WRAPA, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi (MFR) deliberated on all sections of the report and provided necessary inputs to the report which would now be worked on ahead of a validation process.

WRAPA participates in the National Assembly Open Week 2018.

NASS Open week

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), participated in the 2018 edition of the National Assembly Open Week, which happens to be its maiden edition. The week-long program took place at the National Assembly, three arms zone, Abuja. In attendance were 2 Constituents each from all the senatorial districts and federal constituencies (469), State Assemblies, CSOs/NGOs especially those with legislative bias, members of the Private Sector, Media groups and Organizations, Committees of the National Assembly, Researchers/academia, Traditional Representatives/religious leaders, Development partners, MDAs, Judiciary, Trade Unions/Pressure Groups, Students and Student Groups, Nigerians in Diaspora and Lobby Groups.

The event was put together by the National Institute for Legislative & Democratic Studies (NILDS) with the intension of broadening the public’s understanding of legislative functions and processes as well as interface with legislators and staff. The event was also put together to highlight the good work being done by the National Assembly in its Advancement of Legislative Openness. The event also created an avenue for interaction between legislators and key stakeholders (legislative monitoring civil society organizations, media, traditional rulers and socio-cultural groups from the six geo-political zones), bridged the gap and addressed the perennial negative public perception of legislators. In addition, the event also hoped to improve public confidence in democratic institutions, particularly the legislature.

The highlight of the participation of the Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA) was on the 19th of July, 2018, day 4 of the program which featured an Interactive Session with Women Groups on Elections and Gender Mainstreaming, chaired by Sen. Abiodun Olujimi, the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate. All female legislators of the National Assembly made up the panel for discussion. The session was coordinated by Hon. Stella Ngwu, Chairperson, House Committee on Women and Social Development, major participants at this session were; National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Women CSOs present (WRAPA inclusive) and Development Partners.

The Interactive Session with Women Groups on Elections and Gender Mainstreaming highlighted the near absence of women from legislative and leadership positions in Nigeria democratic system and the hinderance of public laws and policies to change this narrative. Women were also challenged to run for/take up leadership positions and support each other in the cause of doing so. The rest of the participants were also sensitized on the dire need for the inclusion of women in our democratic system, hinging on the fact that sustainable development cannot be achieved without women in development processes.

WRAPA holds Inaugural Planning Meeting for its Gender & Accountability Project with Project Cohort Members

Gender & Accountability Cohort

The Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA), held a two-day inaugural planning meeting from the 17th to 18th of July, 2018, for its Gender & Accountability project funded by the MacArthur Foundation, with the Gender & Accountability Project Cohort (GAP-C) which comprises seven (7) organizations namely; Advocacy Nigeria, Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Kebetkache, International Women Communication Centre (IWCC), Women Advocacy Research Documentation Centre (WARD C), Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), Women FM (Wfm 91.7).

The Gender & Accountability project is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and in the fight against corruption. The project is a deliberate intention on the part of the funders, MacArthur Foundation to include the voices of women in the discourse. The Foundation has been supporting the women of Nigeria through various projects designed to empower women and access their entitlements in a democratic system of government. MacArthur Foundation has also in the past, worked with several members of the GAP-C. The Project Cohort (GAP-C)’’ and is being headed by WRAPA.

The meeting took place in Abuja, Nigeria ahead of the implementation of the project. The 7 cohort members were duly represented by their Executive Directors and project staff. The purpose of the two-day meeting was to provide a platform for the cohort members to familiarize themselves with: a) each other, b) activities that would be carried out by other members and how it fits into the big picture, c) parameters to ensure the successful execution and implementation of the project. The purpose of the meeting was also to ensure consolidation of clarity and commitment before the takeoff of the project.

The discussions at the meeting for the two days spanned across

  1. Project administration
  2. Project milestones
  3. Development of annual workplan
  4. MoU
  5. Reporting requirements
  6. Bilateral discussion on knowledge update grid
  7. Next steps.

Each member of the GAP-C made a brief presentation of the activities they would be engaging in under the umbrella of the Gender and Accountability project, states of implementation, beneficiaries and outcomes of their interventions.

The two-day meeting proved to be very resourceful as all member organizations of the GAP-C were able to consolidate clarity and commitment, and also improve their knowledge of the Gender and Accountability project.

WRAPA in Collaboration with ADOPT-A-CAMP, others, launch #Tech4IDP Project with Basic Computer Training for Teachers in North-East.

tech4IDP

The Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA) in collaboration with ADOPT-A-CAMP, Omojuwa Foundation, Reliance Info Systems Limited, Daystar Christian Centre launched the #Tech4IDP project with the support of Google.org.  The project kicked off with a basic computer skills training of teachers in the North-East region of Nigeria.

The objective of the project is to set up computer centres in 16 schools across three conflict ravaged northeast States – Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States. The project is necessitated in view of the how endangered education has become as a result of the continuous Boko Haram insurgency. The project is mainly funded by Google.org with 160 units of laptops and smart phones. Thirty-two (32) teachers, two (2) each from the sixteen (16) schools were trained on basic computer knowledge and were given smart phones to aid and improve communication among themselves. WRAPA actively supported this project with the establishment of two (2) computer centres, one (1) in each of  Borno and Yobe States. The two computer centers named after WRAPA.

On the 18th July, 2018, basic computer training was conducted for the twelve (12) teachers of the six (6) beneficiary schools of Borno State in Government College, Maiduguri, Borno State. The training was declared open by the Director ICT, Ministry of Education, Borno State. On the 19th of July, 2018, the project team comprising of all stakeholders paid a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Education, after intimating him of the objective of the project; he conducted the official handing over of the computers and phones to the representatives of the beneficiary schools. The commissioner, on behalf of the state, expressed profound gratitude for this laudable intervention and promised efficient supervision and monitoring of the usage of the IT equipment. The Project team was also at Women day secondary school Maiduguri, a school for married women and single mothers which also offers adult literacy classes for women to set up the computer centre. The team presented the IT equipment to the principal. The Principal in her response, lauded the intervention and promised to ensure best utilization of the opportunity.

The training in Yobe State took place on the 20thof July 2018 in Government Girls college, Damaturu, Yobe State. Ten (10) teachers, two (2) each from five (5) schools were also trained on basic computer knowledge. The Director schools, Ministry of Education declared the training open with the message of stepping down the knowledge to other teachers and students in the respective schools of the participants. The project team paid a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education.

At the end of the exercise, teachers who attended the trainings who are mostly computer teachers in their respective schools improved their capacity on the diverse and positive uses of computers.

Rwanda’s success in Gender Equality, a wake-up call for Nigeria

Gender Gap report

What do Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda have in common? Not a lot, at least at first glance. For starters, all four Nordic countries are what the World Bank classes as high income, while Rwanda features on the UN list of 48 least developed nations.The disparity continues in almost every single area you can imagine, from electricity access (100% for the Nordics, 20% for Rwanda) to life expectancy (as high as 83 in Sweden compared to 65 in Rwanda).

But in spite of all these differences, there’s one character trait they all share: they’re the five global leaders when it comes to GENDER EQUALITY.

Firstly, let us reflect on the Economic situation of Rwanda: At 86%, Rwanda has one of the highest rates of female labour force participation in the world. In the US, for example, that figure stands at 56%, and has even been declining since the turn of the millennium. Not only are participation rates high, but the wage gap is narrower – in Rwanda, women earn 88 cents for every dollar men do; in the US, it’s just 74 cents.

The major area in which Rwanda has recorded success in Gender Equality is in Female political participation: Every year for over a decade, Rwanda has topped the global list of countries with the most female political parliamentarians. That’s in large part thanks to quotas, put in place following the genocide, stipulating that women must make up 30% of parliamentarians. Compare this to the US, where it’s been predicted it will take 500 years for women to reach fair representation in politics.

Rwanda has an all time high of 61.3% female representation in Politics, while the men make up the rest 38.7%. This is in sharp contrast to Nigeria, “the giants of Africa” who have only 6.1 percent female representation in State Houses of Assembly, 3.9 percent female representation in the House of Representatives, 7.34 percent female representation in the Senate and almost zero percent female representation in the executive arm of government. In West Africa, Nigeria ranks even lower than Ghana Togo and Senegal who all have better Female representation in Leadership.

Prior to this feats achieved by Rwanda and other African countries, many were of the belief that gender equality, in particular, equal representation of women in leadership was a mere western agenda and not attainable in the African region. At this point, Rwanda has proved this beliefs to be false as they have even performed better than the US at this level. The Gender Agenda is attainable in Africa and Nigeria in particular, who currently ranks 122 out of 144 on the Global Gender Gap report by World Economic Forum (WEF). What is more appalling is the fact that Nigeria ranked 4 places better in 2017, a sign of progression or retrogression?

If Nigeria is to live up to the self-acclaimed title of “GIANTS OF AFRICA”, then we must wake up and narrow the gender gap between Nigeria and Rwanda, Mozambique, South-Africa, Ghana, Senegal and Togo, just to mention but a few of Nations who are recording massive successes in the quest for Gender Equality.

The bottom line remains, sustainable development is not achievable without the inclusion of women in leadership positions and other development processes.

WRAPA attends Workshop on Media and Hate Speech by CITAD

hate speech

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), partook in a Workshop on Hate Speech and Media in Nigeria on the wings of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, from the 10th July to 11th July 2018.

For two days, academics, journalists, broadcasters and civil society activists with diverse backgrounds met to discuss issues relating to hate speech and assorted media genres and professionals. The workshop saw four (4) papers presented by notable professionals in Nigerian media in addition to two (2) different panels as well as a robust general house discussion on issues that arose as the workshop progressed.

The workshop observed as follows:

1) Hate speech could emanate readily from the various divides in the society ranging from ethnic, religious, social to economic differences of individuals and groups. This could even deepen with subdivisions into smaller units implying that it is difficult to predict its end.

2) Hate speech can provoke negative reactions almost instantaneously as it fuels ethnic, religious and some other conflicts in the society and this could degenerate to violence.

3) Media related challenges that fuel conflict range from media’s disregard for diversity, undue commercialization, poor knowledge of relevant laws, history and culture as well as current affairs, ownership influence to provincialisation of education of relevant academics.

4) Paucity of logistics and undue internal pressure constitute another set of problems to good performance of the media.

5) Broadcast media in Nigeria, especially those owned by state governments, often run foul of cautionary measures especially during elections, thus presenting rather bad examples to their counterparts in the private sector.

6) Media genres of the print and broadcast are hardly different again with the inception of the internet as the conventional media ceaselessly seek to extend their operations and influence to the realms of social media.

7) The Cybercrime Advisory Council provided for by the Cybercrime Act of 2015 is rather exclusive particularly of the youths in spite of the reckoning enjoyed by the youths with the UN in relation to Internet issues as manifest in the annual rituals of the Internet Governance Forum, IGF.

The workshop subsequently recommended as follows:

1) Different ethnic groups should seek to tolerate their respective cultural differences to enable all to cohabit peacefully.

2) It is important that civil society groups begin to recognize the need to popularize the knowledge of the concept of hate speech for the benefit of the members of the general public.

3) Professionalism in the mainstream media is important hence the need for training and retraining of media personnel as, for instance, may be initiated by CITAD in conjunction with other stakeholders.

4) It is important to accord proper attention to the welfare of media personnel so that their work could be more factual and evidence based

5) The Nigerian Press Organisation, NPO, and other similar bodies that used to have reasonable influence on media organizations need to liberalise to accommodate emerging players like members of Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, and Online Publishers of Nigeria, OPAN.

6) Develop a voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and encourage widespread dissemination

7) Government should consider the repealing of the Cybercrime Act of 2015 to reform the Cybercrime Advisory Council to accommodate youths in line with the vision of the UN.

8) Journalism training institutions need to introduce courses on conflict sensitive reporting, and universities and other tertiary institutions offering journalism training should introduce the course right from 100 level.

9) The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) should be made autonomous and independent agency

10) Media organizations and bodies should punish and sanction their staff and members who engage in promoting hate speech.

11) Public awareness need to be enhanced to educate people on getting and sharing information on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhastApp, Instagram, etc.

12) Civil society organizations should monitor hate speech and put pressure on media regulatory agencies to punish media houses that allow hate speech in their contents.

13) Journalists should prioritize write-ups that promote national unity, cohesion and tolerance and must not give room for hate speech

Signed:

i. Hamza Ibrahim-Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

ii. Dr. Tunde Musbahu Akanni-Lagos State University (LASU)

iii. Chinedu Christopher Gbulie-Women’s Right Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA)

iv. Onyekachi Eke-Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC)

WRAPA, CITAD, SAIS and the Everett Program holds Abuja Digital Summer Institute 2018

Abuja Digital Summer Institute 1

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), in collaboration with the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), the African Studies Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Everett Program, an Info Tech Social Entrepreneurial training organization from the University of California, Santa Cruz, held the 2018 edition of the Abuja Digital Summer Institute, a free digital training for Young Women.

The maiden edition of the Abuja Digital Summer Institute (ADSI) took place in July 2017 and proved to be a worthwhile venture, as a good number of young ladies improved their digital capacities, leading to the empowerment of these women and an increment of female voices in digital spaces. The institute, which also runs a similar program in Kano State, was designed to provide ICT training and marketable digital skills update for young women.

The 2018 edition of the Abuja Digital Summer Institute took place from 9th July 2018 – 14th July 2018, the training program had a wide curriculum that cut across training on blogging and web management (WordPress), graphic design, digital video editing and photography, tech essentials, filming, the use of basic mobile phone/GSM applications for micro-enterprises, and social media marketing. The workshop also featured lectures from motivational speakers, as result of the fundamental need for women support and self-confidence that really motivates them to improve their livelihoods, socially and economically

The Institute’s objective is to provide real world, practical training in ICT tools that will empower young women to  work in the ICT industry and to start Micro-enterprises that will add value to their communities. The long term goal is to boost northern women’s capacity to participate in and to grow northern economy replicating similar program with the skills acquired by the beneficiaries.

 

MacArthur Foundation awards $6.5 million dollars in grants to Advance Accountability and Transparency and Reduce Corruption in Nigeria, with WRAPA among its Beneficiaries of this Grant

WRAPA Sec Gen, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi and Dr. Kole Shettima, MacArthur Foundation Director for Nigeria

MacArthur announced on the 21st June, 2018 nearly $6.5 million in funding to advance anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. The grants are part of the Foundation’s On Nigeria grantmaking, which seeks to reduce corruption by building an atmosphere of accountability, transparency, and good governance in the country.

The grants support nonprofits working to inform and empower communities in the fight against corruption and to promote anti-corruption as a national priority in advance of the 2019 Presidential and Assembly elections. They include support for efforts to strengthen systems and study what works to reduce corruption. These awards build on decades of Foundation support for projects to enhance credibility, integrity, monitoring, and security around past elections. They continue MacArthur’s recent support for organizations working to capitalize on the national momentum and increased political will to tackle corruption, with projects ranging from monitoring and transparency measures around the political process to public education about the costs of corruption.

“The country has begun an important process of addressing the corruption that plagues it on so many levels,” said Kole Shettima, Director of MacArthur’s Nigeria Office. “It is more important now than ever to keep anti-corruption work front and center on the national agenda, and to empower people and communities with the information and platforms they need to advocate for themselves and fight for the issues that impact their daily lives.”

The grants include:

  • Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (Abuja): To mobilize and support women and women’s groups to document the cost of corruption on women, speak out against corruption, and promote anti-corruption and accountability as priority issues through traditional and social media in advance of the 2019 elections.
  • Accountability Research Center (Washington, DC): To partner with the Center for Democracy and Development in Nigeria to assess the success of approaches and strategies to strengthen accountability around the world and in Nigeria.
  • Centre for Information Technology & Development (Kano): To support efforts by civil society organizations to provide platforms and forums for social discourse around accountability and anti-corruption in advance of the 2019 elections.
  • Chatham House (London): To research the efficacy of behavioral change strategies to reduce corruption and promote accountability in Nigeria.
  • Legal Defense and Assistance Project (Lagos): To support efforts by six states to fully implement 15 core elements of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act that improve criminal investigation and prosecution efforts in corruption cases.
  • Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (Abuja): To support efforts by civil society organizations to galvanize public and political debates on accountability and to keep anti-corruption as an important national issue in advance of the 2019 elections.
  • Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation (Abuja): To support regional organizations to galvanize public and political debates on accountability and highlight anti-corruption as a broad national issue in advance of the 2019 National election.

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) is set to commence its utilization of this grant with a project titled “GENDER & ACCOUNTABILITY” leading a cohort group of seven (7) other reputable organizations for the implementation of this project. These Organizations are;

  • Advocacy Nigeria
  • Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF)
  • Kebetkeche
  • International Women Communication Centre (IWCC)
  • Women Advocacy Research Documentation Centre (WARD C)
  • Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC)
  • Women FM

With the support of the MacArthur Foundation, The Gender and Accountability Project is aimed at mobilizing and supporting women and women’s groups to document the cost of corruption on women, speak out against corruption, and promote anti-corruption and accountability as priority issues through traditional and social media in advance of the 2019 elections.

 

Sources – MacArthur Foundation website 

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