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WRAPA Holds Project Inception Meeting of the ‘Advancing Women’s Legal Rights: Strengthening State Accountability and Community Action to Address Gender-Based Violence in Adamawa and Kano States’ Project, under the RoLAC Programme

Inception meeting of the Advancing Legal Rights Project

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), held the inception meeting of the ‘Advancing Women’s Legal Rights: Strengthening State Accountability and Community Action to Address Gender-Based Violence in Adamawa and Kano States’ project, on the 10th of April, 2019.  This project is under the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme by the British Council and funded by the European Union.

The purpose of the inception meeting was to; launch the project in Kano State, and establish project objectives and communicate project timelines, build a strong foundation for the smooth implementation of the project; strengthen the demand and support for the enactment of legislations that respond to the need for the protection of women, girls and all vulnerable persons from discrimination and all forms of gender based violence. A review committee was also set up to identify the gaps in the Penal Code, with specific sections that should be enhanced.

Present at this meeting were members of the WRAPA/RoLAC project team, and key stakeholders of the project that include;Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Legal Aid Council, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Hisbah Commission, Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoW), Child Protection Network (CPN), Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (IWEI), Coalition Against Rape and Violence (CARAV), National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Sexual Assault Reform Centre (SARC), Kano State Civil Society Forum, Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).

WRAPA pays Courtesy Visits to Key Stakeholders in Kano State, to Foster Partnership & Secure Buy-in to the Implementation of the “Advancing Women’s Legal Rights Project”, under the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) Programme

WRAPA Courtesy visits to stakeholders on the RoLAC programme

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), conducted courtesy visits on the 9th of April, 2019 to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Kano State, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Kano State Office, Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), Kano State and Sexual Assault Reform Centre (SARC) on the wings of the ‘Advancing Women’s Legal Rights: Strengthening State Accountability and Community Action to Address Gender-Based Violence in Adamawa and Kano States’ project under the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme by the British Council and funded by the European Union.

The courtesy visits, were conducted with an aim to secure the buy-in of these key stakeholders to the project, as well as to establish the viability of proposed project activities. Stakeholders recommendations for smooth and effective implementation of the project, were sought. The courtesy visits also allowed for WRAPA to invite the key stakeholders to the project inception meeting scheduled to hold a day after the courtesy visits.

WRAPA holds Validation Meeting on the Research Report on Mapping of SGBV in IDP Camps & Selected Host Communities in Borno State.

WRAPA validation meeting for Mapping of SGBV Report

 

The Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA), on the 21st of March, 2019, held a report validation meeting for a research conducted on the wings of the Mapping of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in IDP Camps & Selected Host Communities in Borno State, North East, Nigeria Project, funded by TrustAfrica.

The meeting which took place at, Borno State, was held for the purpose of authentication and validation of the findings and recommendations of the mapping report. Notably present at this meeting were; the research respondents, the social workers, the WRAPA/TrustAfrica Project team and the relevant stakeholders and focal actors which included; Neem Foundation, The Nigerian Police Force, Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Ministry of Defense (MoD), Allamin Foundation, Nigerian Bar Association, The Nigerian Human Rights Commission, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (SMoWASD), Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment (MPAYE) and the Network of Civil Society Organizations (NOC) Maiduguri, Borno State.

TrustAfrica supported WRAPA to conduct a mapping research aimed at generating data and documentation on the nature and prevalence of SGBV incidents, within the context of the insurgency in Borno State; and support the advocacy for accountability of State and non-State actors in the conflict, while providing programming content towards psychosocial support, healing and other relevant interventions for Sexual and Gender Based Violence survivors. .

WRAPA, having successfully implemented the mapping research and end of project evaluation –  it was imperative to convene a meeting where the findings and recommendations of the research will be validated by broad stakeholders, who participated in the research process. Specifically, the validation meeting was aimed at sharing the findings and recommendations of the outcome of research work on mapping of SGBV in IDP Camps, and Host Communities in Borno State with evidence of appropriate documentation to support the advocacy for accountability of actors in the conflict, and programming content towards designing interventions for SGBV survivors

The successful completion of the validation meeting birthed a reviewed and endorsed version of the report of the TrustAfrica Research findings on the prevalence and nature of Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in select Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and host communities in Borno State.

The Voice of Women FM (WFM 91.7) Holds Sensitization Rally Themed ‘Students Say NO to Corruption’    

WFM Sensitization rally at UNILAG

 

The Voice of Women FM, popularly known as WFM 91.7, the official media partners of the Gender and Accountability Project, made industrious use of their wide network to raise the decibel of the voices in demand for accountability in Nigeria. The Voice of Women FM held a sensitization rally in the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Yaba, Lagos on the 22nd March, 2019. This activity was carried out in line with the organization’s mandates and its involvement in the implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C) in partnership with the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), and with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

The Gender and Accountability Project is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and in the fight against corruption.

Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority to acquire illicit profit. In Nigeria, corruption is a menace that has afflicted the people and nation. It is seen in every sector from education to agriculture, politics, health, religion, government etc.This Phenomenon occurs on varying scales ranging from small favors also known as” petty corruption” to large scale or “grand corruption”. To further understand the nature of corruption, and to document its impact and primary recipient, the gender lens has become an essential apparatus to engage for clarity on issues of corruption.

Therefore, to tackle the problems in our society, it is imperative to rally the voices of women into a force that stands against corruption, understands their place in the society and places a premium on demanding for accountability from political and non-political leaders in Nigeria, hence, the implementation of the sensitization rally. The sensitization rally was conducted with the motives of; raising awareness on corruption through real-life occurrences and its effect on the female gender, raising awareness on accountability and sensitization on methods to its demand, helping participants identify how they have been affected by corruption and get them to share their experiences, putting women at the fore-front of the accountability crusade and ensuring the scaling-up of the accountability demand.

On successful completion of the sensitization rally, participants upgraded their knowledge on corruption and its effect on women, participants also built their capacity on methods to demand accountability. At the end of the event, and for sustainability of the intervention, a Gender and Accountability Club was set-up with students as its members. This group of students would further cascade down the demand for accountability discourse, they would also meet timely to scale-up related issues to major stakeholders and actors in the demand for accountability for further action.

WARDC Holds Engagement Meetings with ICPC and Other Complaint Channels On Standards of Service Availability and Delivery.

WARDC engagement meetings ICPC

The Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) held an engagement meetings with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other compliant channels on standards of service availability and delivery. The meeting was in tandem with the organization’s implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project, which is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and the fight against corruption. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) who coordinates the Gender and Accountability Project Cohort (GAP-C), comprising of seven (7) organizations.

The price of corruption has been extremely high especially on women. The economic, political, social and moral bases of the country have been severely eroded and degraded. This impelled the commitment of the then Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR to tackle corruption head-on. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission was inaugurated on September 29th, 2000 by the then Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.

The Commission is at the hub of Nigeria’s fight against corruption. In the order set out at section 6 of the Act 2000, the first duty of the Commission is to receive complaints, investigate and prosecute offenders. Thus, the buy-in of the ICPC to the Gender and Accountability Project is imperative for the achievement of the desired outcome and impact of the project

The engagement meeting was held with the aim of fostering a relationship with the ICPC and other relevant complaint agencies in the demand for accountability, especially as women are more prone to being shortchanged and discriminated against in the use of public services. The engagement meeting was also aimed at; putting the ICPC and other complaint channels on notice for prompt response and action on reports from women on corrupt practices, especially in the health and education sectors, and bringing issues of racketeering to fore.

The engagement meetings secured the buy-in of the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) and other related complaint channels to the mandates of the project. The commission pledged to improve the level of monitoring in the context of standard of service availability and delivery, especially in the health and education sectors, as these are the sectors that have recorded the highest level of shortchanging and discrimination against women.

CIRDDOC Holds Engagement Meetings with Traditional Rulers & Women Groups on the Importance of Gender and Social Inclusion

CIRDDOC engagement meetings with traditional rulers

The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre, (CIRDDOC) Nigeria, held engagement meetings with traditional rulers and women groups on the importance of gender and social inclusion in decision making at community levels. The engagement meetings took place on the 27th and 28th of March, in partnership with the Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA) with support from the MacArthur Foundation.

The marginalization of Nigerian women in politics and decision making is as old as the Nigerian society itself. It actually predates the advent of colonialism in Southern and Northern Nigeria.Marginalization of women is reinforced by patriarchy, poverty, illiteracy, religious and cultural norms which in turn have given birth to corruption. It is widely believed that the marginalization of women in political participation, leadership and decision making processes has been responsible for the exclusion of the interests of women in governance and development paradigms.

It is no longer news that the sustainable development of a nation depends on the inclusion of both genders, yet the participation of women in formal political structures and processes, where decisions regarding the use and management of societal resources generated by both men and women are made, remains insignificant.

The community engagement with the Traditional Rulers and women groups in fifteen (15) communities across the three (3) senatorial zones of Enugu State, Nigeria, on gender and social inclusion of women in decision making at the community level is another milestone towards advocating for women inclusion in community leadership and decision making. The engagements were held in order; to make community leadership structure and processes more inclusive, to increase women’s interest and participation in community leadership and decision making, and to pressurize the community leadership to institutionalize a mechanism for increasing women’s involvement and participation in decision making processes of the community. During the engagement meetings, issues such as; the status of corruption in the communities, benefits of inclusive community leadership and techniques aimed at increasing women participation and engagement in community governance were discussed.

The engagement meetings resulted in securing the buy-in of the traditional leaders to the objectives of the project. The traditional leaders made commitments on the immediate adoption of the strategies discussed at the meetings for the inclusion of women in the decision making structure of the communities.

WRAPA Trends Number 1 on Twitter in Nigeria during the #GEOBill Twitter Conference in Commemoration of the IWD 2019

GEOBill twitter conference IWD 2019

 

The International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for Women’s Rights.The themes for each year vary, and highlight on prevalent issues around Gender Disparity and advocate for the realization of Women’s Rights. The theme for this year’s campaign IWD 2019 was Better the balance, better the word”, socially promoted as #Balanceforbetter, a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

Against the backdrop of the #Balanceforbetter theme aimed at driving gender balance, and in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019, the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), conducted a twitter conference on the Gender & Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB), using the hashtag #GEOBill, on the 14th of March, 2019. The Gender & Equal opportunities Bill, based on its provisions and what it seeks to achieve, is regarded as a necessary mechanism for achieving Gender Parity in Nigeria, hence the rationale for the focus during the IWD 2019 commemoration.

The #GEOBill twitter conference was aimed at sensitizing the public on issues/factors that threaten women’s rights and initiatives to achieve gender parity, as well as its benefits to the entire populace. Specifically, it was targeted at creating awareness on the gender and equal opportunities Bill (GEOB) and standing in solidarity with the global public discourse, leveraging on its expertise and reach to scale up knowledge to unify action against all forms of GBV, particularly as it relates to women’s choice of careers and women’s participation in decision making spaces.

WRAPA leveraged on the reach of its twitter social media platforms, its network with key influencers online and its expertise through resource persons to implement a successful online conference. WRAPA Senior Programme Coordinator, Anisa Ari, a resource person on the panel for the conference, led the conference on the myth, facts, context and rationale of the GEO Bill, while Ann Iyonu, another resource person on the panel of the conference, led the conversation on the GEO Bill as it relates to the socio-political condition of women in Nigeria.

It was a very successful advocacy and sensitization based intervention by the organization as there was increased awareness of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB) by the participants, and an increased number of women, now aware of their rights to choice of career & profession which will further increase women’s interest and participation in Politics. The twitter conference generated a lot of conversations and engagements, above all, the #GEOBill topic trended as the most discussed topic in Nigeria on twitter on the 14th of March, 2019.

Hurray! WRAPA Turns 20!

WRAPA Resource Centre

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), founded by Hon. Justice Fati L. Abubakar, Nigeria’s former first lady, in the year 1999 and led by the undaunted Secretary General, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi (MFR), has been a leading voice in the advocacy and campaign for the elimination of all forms of repugnant practices against women and at the fore-front of the advancement of women’s rights in Nigeria.

WRAPA, in its mission of advancing and protecting the rights of women, has over the years provided legal aid and counseling services to thousands of Nigerian women (survivors) through any or all of its legal redress, psychosocial support and humanitarian aid programmes.

Also, in its struggle to level the field across all spheres of life for both genders and ensure the protection of the woman’s dignity, WRAPA has advocated for legal reforms that; ensure the elimination of obnoxious laws and repugnant practices which regard the female gender as an inferior gender, and ensure that laws are put in place to advance women’s rights and hold perpetrators of violence and abuses against women accountable.

Through its involvement in several projects, WRAPA with the generous support of its donors, has brought about sensitization of communities and institutional structure in educating and influencing changes in girls and women while advocating for the increase in the number of women participating in governance and demanding accountability.

The organization has also consolidated functional institutional mechanism for women’s right advocacy and support through the Gender Technical Unit in the National Assembly, pushing for reforms such as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law and the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEO Bill).

WRAPA has tirelessly intervened and touched the lives of women across Nigeria, as it believes every human must enjoy and live with dignity, and be free from all forms of discrimination.

It’s been 20 years of tirelessly working to gain multiple levels of shifts in the lives of Nigerian women. We’re exceptionally grateful to all stakeholders, state & non state actors, philanthropists & donors, who have contributed to the success of the work WRAPA does.

 

#WRAPAat20 #WomensRights

WRAPA, Allamin Foundation and JRP, facilitates a 5-day Exchange Visit between Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Survivors and key justice institutions in Nigeria.

WRAPA exchange visit

The Women’s Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA), in collaboration with the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP), a Non-Governmental Organization based in Gulu – Uganda and the Allamin Foundation’s Knifa Movement, a select member of the Women Advocacy Network (WAN) facilitated an exchange visit between survivors of conflict related Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and key justice institutions in Nigeria. This program was implemented under the auspices of the International Criminal Justice Fund and with support from TrustAfrica.

With the prevalence of sexual violence in conflict areas being a widespread problem, that leads its victims into a life  of isolation, shame and stigmatization, damaged trust and severed relationships, the need to develop a responsive policy and legal frameworks, that cater for the long-term consequences of conflict related sexual violence, including motherhood/children born of the conflict related sexual violence becomes imperative.

Although, sexual violence in conflict is receiving increased media, policy and academic attention, there is need for more to be done as most of the reports and responses of the violence misses the voices of the survivors and focus only on their short-term needs such as provision of medical first-aid and psychological assistance rather than the long term needs.

The exchange visit was conducted to connect survivors of conflict related Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) for improved advocacy to achieve lasting systemic change. Specifically, it was aimed at; establishing a platform for SGBV survivors to meet and exchange ideas for community and national level victim led actions for ending and redressing, facilitating experiential sharing and learning on survivor movement building and advocacy, improving information sharing and networking between three of the ICJ Fund grantees working directly with survivors.

The workshop recorded sixteen (16) survivors of conflict from the Northern Uganda, and eight (8) Survivors from the North-East Nigeria (which were selected from the research respondents from the mapping of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in IDP Camps and select Host Communities in  Borno State, North East Nigeria) share their lived experiences during conflict and in captivity, some of which were gory and heartbreaking. The experience sharing paved way for illuminating potential shared trauma, and developing better interventions and responses going forward. The selected survivors from Uganda who are Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) survivors from the conflict that occurred over 20 years ago are now leaders in their respective communities, advocating for their rights and for the rights of children born of wartime sexual violence and seeking justice and social repair. Thus, the experiential sharing was also aimed at motivating the SGBV survivors from the North-East into developing innovative solutions on the way forward in their lives.

The exchange visit workshop spanned an intense five (5) days, covering activities such as; dialogue and experience sharing activities, presentations on legislative work on Gender Sensitive Laws and Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) law, advocacy and documentation, plenary Discussions and visitations to key justice institutions such as Ministry of Justice (MoJ), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Judicial Council (NJC) and FIDA Nigeria.

On the last day of the exchange visit workshop, a press conference was held with the mass media houses. During the press briefing, the Executive Director, Allamin Foundation, Hajiya Hamsatu Allamin, spoke about the rehabilitation and reintegration of returning survivors of conflict related violence into society, while the WRAPA Senior Programme Coordinator, Anisah Ari, made a call for action to government and relevant stake holders to put in place policies that hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable and a system for the rehabilitation and reintegration of the survivors.

 

The Exchange Visit, was a resounding success as the goals and objectives of the activity were achieved. The interaction between the participants helped to build capacity and strengthen networks, key justice institutions made commitments concerning support in legal redress and social repair for the survivors. Also, there was a definite positive change in behaviour of the survivors from the North-East Nigeria.

WRAPA Facilitates a two-day review meeting of the Gender & Accountability Project with Project Cohort Partners.

WRAPA Gender & Accountability review meeting

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), facilitated a two-day meeting for the mid-term review of the Gender & Accountability Project with the Gender and Accountability Cohort partners which include; Advocacy Nigeria, Nigeria Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Women FM (WFM 91.7), Kebetkache, International Women Communication Centre (IWCC), The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) and Women Advocates Research Documentation Centre (WARDC). The review meeting which was also used as an avenue to train baseline data coordinators, took place on the 29th– 30th of January, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria with the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

The two-day review meeting was organized to assess project performance in terms of; effectiveness, efficiency relevance and sustainability. It was also organized to build capacity of data coordinators on skills required for the baseline survey as well as tools to be utilized during data collection. The review meeting deployed a participatory approach to ensure inclusiveness and active participation of the partners through presentations, interactive & breakout sessions.

The meeting was facilitated by the WRAPA Snr. Programme Coordinator, Anisah Ari. The welcome address was delivered by the WRAPA Secretary General, Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi (MFR), who in her address, regarded the Gender & Accountability Cohort partners as assets and the partnerships as the capital necessary for the achievement of the overarching goal of the project.

The performance of the partners in the past two quarters were reviewed  and analyzed and necessary measures for improvements and smooth sail in Quarters 3 and 4 were adopted. The project cohort partners were taken through the outcome mapping table to improve their understanding on how each organization’s individual work fits into the bigger picture of the MacArthur on Nigeria mission.

Communications, which is a crucial component of the project was also high on the agenda of the review meeting. The Communication strategies employed so far by the partners in their implementation of the project were reviewed and their effectiveness analyzed. Strategies, tools and techniques for the improvement of the communication bit of the project were adopted by partners after a thorough capacity building session.

The review meeting also featured a plenary session on ensuring the sustainability of the project beyond the grant from MacArthur Foundation. Initiatives such as; developing communiques and upholding laws that partners can continue to use to hold elected officers accountable, forging strong alliances with public commissions were explored.

At the end of the two-day review meeting, the project cohort partners were able to assess their performance as regards the implementation of the project, build their capacity and adopt more effective methods and strategies for the execution of the Gender and Accountability Project.

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