The Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) conducted a two-day Capacity Building session for Women at the Grassroots to constructively demand Accountability and Challenge Corruption. The activities which took place on the 18th and 19th of October, 2018 in Aeron Suites, Osogbo, Osun State and on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2018 in Abeokuta, Ogun State were in tandem with the organization’s implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C), which is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and in 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 seven (7) organizations. The project is a deliberate intention on the part of the funders, MacArthur Foundation to include the voices of women in the discourse.
Corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as it reduces access to resources and hinders development, and it also deprives people of advancement opportunities. Corruption has been high on the governance reform agenda for decades as it constrains development and causes conflicts. Corruption affects everybody in the country most especially women, women’s disempowerment and their dependence on public service delivery mechanisms for access to essential services increases their vulnerability to the consequences of corruption-related service delivery deficits. Corruption disproportionately affects poor women because of their low levels of economic and political empowerment which constrains their ability to hold states accountable to deliver services. The WARDC’s mandate within the context of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C) is to strengthen women groups for institutionalizing anticorruption and accountability in Nigeria.
The implementation of a Capacity Building session for women especially at the grass root level to demand accountability, and challenge corruption, was embarked on to empower, these women on how to constructively demand accountability from the government. This capacity building session was informed by the fact that women at the grassroots have a high dependency on government services for survival, and lack economic and political leverage. Challenging factors that contribute to this seemingly apathy is low level of education, lack of awareness of the patterns of corruption emanating from the deprivation of these services, as well as its impact. The capacity building was also pertinent to active engagement with the stakeholders, government parastatals and all other agencies and duty bearers involved in providing amenities to demand for demand for accountability, and also challenge corruption.
As a result of this two-day capacity building session, more women at the grass-root level of Osun and Ogun States have now increased their capacities to recognize and challenge corruption, and demand for accountability, which is anticipated to improve the living standards of these women. The stakeholders and representatives of government parastatals also had increased knowledge on the causal effects of poor service delivery and corruption, and better equipped to be intentionally put in measures to drive transparency and good governance.