Communications January 25, 2021 2

Project States: FCT, Adamawa, Sokoto, Lagos, Ebonyi, Cross River.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is arguably one of the most prevalent human rights violation in the world and is currently a “Shadow Pandemic” – resulting in life threatening consequences on women and girls, negatively impacting their life opportunities. This human rights violation is firmly rooted in gender inequality experienced by women globally. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by GBV.

GBV is manifested through a multitude of actions, including the forced marriage of young girls, trafficking in persons, FGM, rape and attempted rape, purdah, violence directed at individuals with different sexual orientation, sexual violence, verbal abuse and laws and regulations that limit women’s and girls’ rights and access to services in relation to men’s. These practices are not only violations of the human rights of the individuals affected but are also an instrumentalist approach to sustain the status quo and the hierarchy of gender identities. Women living in poverty are particularly vulnerable, as they face high levels of structural violence, including difficulty accessing health and legal services needed to address the effects of interpersonal GBV.

Prevailing Factors that Exacerbate Gender-Based Violence:

  1. Weak and non-existent policy and legal frameworks, and their implementation thereof;
  2. Existing discriminatory laws and policies that repress the rights of women;
  3. Socio-cultural and religious beliefs;
  4. Effects of sexist social trends and pop culture.

Lack of awareness of the human rights has reduced the insights and urgency needed to combating the persuasive nature of Gender based violence and to achieve that, there has to be: 

  • Increase in information about sexual and Gender based violence.
  • Greater advocacy in the support of legal reforms to discourage GBV.
  • More efforts to ensure Enforcement of existing laws on violence.

Policy Asks and Recommendations 

  1. Enactment and Implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition [VAPP] Act.
  2. Enactment and Implementation of the Child Rights Act.
  3. Adoption/Development of an Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence.
  4. Inclusion of gender responsive budgeting in appropriation laws.
  5. Establishment and funding of Sexual Assault Referral Centres across the Federation.
  6. Implementation of a robust database of perpetrators.
  7. Increased sensitization on mainstreaming gender sensitivity and equality.

FollowTheMoney will focus on strengthening the capacity of women and girls in the benefitting communities/wards within the spotlight initiative focal state as advocates and instruments in monitoring the adoption of the State and National Action Plan on eliminating Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria. 

This project is supported by the United Nations Spotlight Initiative

Strengthening State Capacities and Women’s Participation in COVID Response

Communications January 25, 2021 0

UN Women: Broader Peace-building Initiative Campaign

The current COVID-19 health emergency is worsening gender inequalities. There is no gainsaying that COVID19 will likely have longer-term gender impacts, pointing to the need to urgently prioritise the best possible response for children, women and the most marginalised. 

The pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political, and economic systems. Government’s response to the crisis has failed to adequately integrate gender responsiveness. This can be attributed to low participation of women in the decision-making structures on COVID-19. Women’s voices and needs are inadequately reflected in formal response structures, despite their varying contributions, and not many interventions are working to increase women’s meaningful participation.

Typically, women in Nigeria are grossly underrepresented in decision-making structures, with 4% representation in national parliament, 4.43% in state legislatures and 16.2% of ministerial appointments. Women’s unequal representation puts their specific needs at risk of being overlooked in the development and monitoring of COVID-19 actions, policies, plans and budgets, including for economic recovery and future health resilience. Women’s leadership and participation in decision making in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial because the impact affects them disproportionately. To amplify women’s leadership and ensure their active participation, there is a need to build cohesion and create visibility around women-led efforts.

Hence, Connected Development (CODE) in collaboration  with UN Women are  implementing  the project on Strengthening State Capacities and Women’s Participation in COVID Response and Broader Peacebuilding Initiatives’. The project seeks to advance women’s meaningful participation in the COVID-19 response and beyond in Kaduna state.

CODE will strengthen women’s capacity and equip them with the necessary tools, skills and expertise to directly participate in COVID19 Response and Broader Peacebuilding Initiatives in Kaduna State. 

Through CODE’s result-oriented advocacy strategy, capacity strengthening strategy, communications expertise and technology resources, we will strengthen women’s capacity and equip them with the necessary tools, skills and expertise to directly participate in COVID19 Response and Broader Peacebuilding Initiatives in Kaduna State.

This project is designed to objectively;

  • Strengthen the capacity of women, girls and existing women led advocacy organizations to participate in the development and monitoring of COVID 19 actions, policies, plans and budget including government strategic plan for economic recovery and future health resilience
  • To Advocate and amplify women’s leadership and active participation in the decision-making response through effective coalition building and collaboration between women organizations and women in political leadership position

ONE Campaign, CODE Petition G7 Leaders on Gender Equality

Communications August 23, 2019 150

Ahead of the G7 Summit holding tomorrow in Biarritz France, where world leaders will meet to discuss global challenges, over 50 of the World’s leading NGOs have petitioned the G7 leaders to accelerate action on gender equality.

World Leaders at the 2017 G7 Summit. Credit: Financial Times

The petition, which was coordinated by the ONE Campaign and co-signed by Connected Development [CODE] and other NGOs, warned that despite promises to do more for women and girls, the world is dangerously off-track on gender equality.

At a moment when the future of multilateralism is in doubt, this year’s G7 summit presents an unprecedented opportunity for leaders to show they can make a difference. Reducing inequality is the central theme of this year’s summit and yet gender inequality remains one of the most pervasive barriers to growth and prosperity.

According to CODE’s Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, the G7 leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to begin to turn the tide against gender inequality by fast-tracking the delivery of long-lasting change for girls and women across the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lawal added that inequality hinders the possibility to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in Nigeria, and urges the World Leaders to support new laws, policies and funding that will help to advance women’s rights and economic empowerment.

It is beyond belief that we will have to wait another 108 years to achieve gender equality across the world. Until this changes, leaders are ignoring the power and potential of half the world’s population, Gayle Smith, President of ONE said.

The letter calls on the leaders attending the summit to take real action and agree to independent reporting of their commitments when they meet in Biarritz.

The format of the G7 Summit will involve the leaders of the African Union, the IMF, the OECD, the UN and the World Bank.