X-GRANT COVID-19 INTERVENTION PROJECT
WRAPA is working within and coordinating the contributions of a Coalition of eight (8) core women’s Rights groups 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) and Voice of Women FM (WFM 91.7) focusing on improving the intersection of gender and good governance.
The aggregate networks of the eight Coalition partner groups numbering 289 are working to harness the collective strength of women’s engagements to institutionalize anti-corruption and accountability reflecting women’s issues and voices at national, geo-political and community levels. Evidenced G&A results show increased numbers of active citizen driven governance platforms; generation and deployment of effective tools monitoring government commitments and obligations; saturation of community and national landscape with gender accountability messages showing knowledge and practice shifts sustained by a critical mass of female voices speaking against corruption. Within the context of the COVID19 pandemic responses by federal and state governments, the Coalition coordinated by WRAPA sought an X Grant to work with the G&A Coalition to rapidly shape the interventions being deployed in Nigeria.
To underscore the vulnerabilities and resilience of women and the impact of COVID19 on women. It highlights the obligations of government and social structures to recognize the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women. Through targeted evidence-based engagements and education, the Coalition advocates the declaration of SGBV response as one of the essential services within the COVID 19 restrictions and in transition periods. This will avail victims timely assistance.
Policy and social actions mainstreaming gender needs and protection in all COVID19 response mechanisms and at national, geo-political and community levels in Nigeria.
Activities will highlight the risks and dangers faced by women and girls as well other vulnerable groups during the lockdown; advocate for stronger access to stimulus package plans; seek the protection and inclusion of women in response policy and social response structures.
Based on context, mandates, dynamics and expertise of Coalition members and their partner organizations key activities will include sensitization, mobilization, advocacy, tracking and monitoring government commitments and community practices. Contributing COVID19 partnerships for advocacy and technical contributions will be established with the Ministry of Women Affairs federal and state levels. Other partnerships include professional organizations for expert research and documentation to provide evidence and inform content for visual depictions of women’s real lived experiences, advocacy skits and messaging in local languages.
- Traction and resonance created on the dis-proportionate impact of COVID-19 on women in State capitals and communities of FCT, Enugu, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo and Rivers. Knowledge has increased women’s confidence to demand accountability, inclusion in the administration of the responses to COVID-19 and beyond.
- The online safe spaces created via WhatsApp and Facebook continue to engage with survivors beyond the X-Grant intervention. Over 100,000 women have been reached through advocacy on all the platforms created by the X-Grant project. Over 5,000 engagements each on monthly basis since July when they were created.
- WFM and its partner, Mirabel Centre indicate increased reportage of 479 case recorded between January to July 2020.
- Seventy (70) SGBV related cases were reported directly to WRAPA from March – September 2020. Seven (7) of these cases have been referred for WRAPA litigation support.
- Improved education and awareness through sensitization by all X-Grant partners especially the WFM Youth webinar are outcomes that will deepen SGBV response quality that set the tone for a national discourse at the 5th Voice of Women (VOW) conference in December 2020.
- Institutions, communities and organizations at formal and informal agencies engaged in X-Grant advocacy have indicated interest in further partnerships with WRAPA, Women Radio, CIRDDOC, IWCC, Kabetkache, Advocacy Nigeria, WARDC and NWTF.
- The three ‘SHE’ video skits and e-banners and stickers have been disseminated across all of WRAPA and Partner networks, social media handles as well as traditional channels. They are all in the public domain on YouTube and serving advocacy, sensitization/awareness purposes within the 2nd wave of COVID-19 responses.
- The X-Grant generated policy advisories and research findings remain veritable tools for engagement and implementation towards Federal States and the FCT policy and practice reforms for mitigating the impact of COVID -19 on women.
- Sensitization activities using traditional platforms and format of town criers and community groups have yielded positive results in Enugu and the FCT. New partnerships have been established with FCT Grassroots Organizations and the Association of FCT Traditional Leaders’ Wives. WRAPA is now working with these groups across 3 of its flagship projects funded by Ford Foundation, the UN Spotlight Initiative and the Malala funded project working to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Girl Child education in FCT and 4 States.
- Over 4,000 women have been sensitized in communities around the six (6) Area Councils of the FCT. These women now provide a link and referral point for reportage of SGBV cases while also amplifying SGBV Survivors voices. This has translated to coordinated demands to declare gender needs and issues as essential services within pandemics and other crises to guarantee attention to as well as women’s effective protection and recovery from economic and health shocks of the crises.
- The COVID-19 Pandemic served to expose the undeniable prevalence of SGBV while accentuating the vulnerability of women who had nowhere to turn during the lockdown.
- There are significant corruption risks in crisis times, exposing the weaknesses in systems and institutions especially around crucial issues of access to relief and inclusion of women and vulnerable populations in the administration of responses to the crises.
- Pandemics can create an emerging civic dynamism as communities come together to cope with the immediate crisis. This pattern reinforces and complements efforts of civil society organizations with more localized and informal civic activism.
- New partnerships and collaborations provide opportunity to strengthen outcomes for women in this case knowledge and guidance towards women’s economic recovery working with organizations like the Central Bank of Nigeria and Grassroots organizations post. Awareness levels on the availability of Sexual Abuse Referral Centres (SARCs) are a direct outcome of the SGBV related COVID campaign for protection and support for survivors.
- In order attain effectiveness the United Nations recommendations on inclusion and particularly in putting women at the centre of the rapid post-COVID-19 recovery plans and policies.
- Public enlightenment on the benefits of early interventions and comprehensive care for SGBV survivors and other vulnerable populations is an imperative to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of any crises.
- Sustainability systems and mechanisms as well as networks should be consciously created to meet the needs for essential services and specialized relief packages.
- Inclusion of women, youth and marginalized populations is the test of the quality of policy and social security response initiatives in crises situations. Leaving no one behind in line with the SGDs mantra.
- Life-saving care and support to SGBV survivors (clinical management of rape and mental health and psycho-social support) may be cut off in responses as witnessed with maternal and child care limitations imposed by the COVID-19 restrictions. This calls for periodic reviews and enactment of crises response policy and practice guidelines to mitigate eventualities and gaps as witnessed in the COVID-19 Pandemic globally.