Event & Networking

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ICT TRAINING FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD:

Organized by Women Aid Collective (WACOL) In Collaboration with Chief Bola Ige Information Technology Center (BIITC) With Support from Microsoft Incorporation.

 

 


 

  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


 

events_clip_image004As development and advancement of the world keeps moving up technologically, the need arises for many individuals to build themselves up in line with the fast world’s growing technology. WomenAid collective in collaboration with Chief Bola Ige Information Technology Centre (BIITC) with support from Microsoft Incorporation in a bid to bridge the technological divide between the North and South of the world, the rich and poor and urban and rural areas as well as gender gap in ICT access and skills embarked on the ICT training of widows in South East Zone of Nigeria. The project titled Widow’s Empowerment was aimed at training widows in South East of Nigeria on the importance and use of computers. This covered Enugu central, Owerri, Awgu and Nsukka.

 

In the initial phase of the project, an intense advocacy visit was carried out to various widow’s groups in the communities of the Local Government Areas mapped for project implementation. This was to enlighten them on the aim and need for the ICT training. A radio jingle was aired to publicize the project and create awareness among members of the public especially airing of the widows who are not members of WACOL widows groups to be aware of the training and benefit there from.

 

 


 

The core objectives of the ICT training included :

 

• To create and promote awareness of Information Communication Technology among young widows in the rural areas with the aim of actualizing the MDG -Goal No.3 of advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment particularly economic sustainability;

• To impart ICT knowledge and skills that will promote livelihood sustainability and reduce the digital literacy divide between men and women ;

• To enhance job opportunities and increase income base of widows’ beneficiaries ; and

• To improve the living standard of members of WACOL Widow’s Support Groups

Computer Appreciation, Word Processing and Internet and World Wide Web were the three key packages used for the ICT training. The method adopted for the training was a pure student’s lecture format. However, they were exercises designed that help to promote interaction and reduced boredom. Again, beneficiaries were allowed enough time to ask question and in fact were encourage to interrupt at any time to ensure that they follow each module and were carried along. A form was designed for the participants to fill for documentation purposes.

This Training was initially viewed with mixed feelings but was later praised as laudable with highly encouraging outcome. The success story started from the beginning of the training through the last day of the training. The output of the executed activities were measured against the project objectives and seen to have been met and surpassed in some respect.

 

Ensure that it becomes a good advocacy tool for change. Thereafter the report will be published.


Policy Oriented Workshop for Dissemination of Report

We proposed this event to start the advocacy with the publication of the report at National level before the international dissemination during the New York session of the CEDAW Committee. Often CSOs are accused of sending reports to treaty bodies that the government never had opportunity to defend or be presented with. Since partnership is what is desired particularly with key institutions to advance gender equality, it will be necessary to have this event and dispel any ulterior motive for embarking on this project. The proposed participants for this will include: 30 legislators/Media Executives and selected policy makers at relevant line Ministries Including National Planning Commission. This event will be held in Abuja. We shall also extend invitation to representatives of the following Ministries: Federal Ministries of Women Affairs, Education, Justice, the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Federal Ministry of Information including the Agency on National Orientation, National Agency for Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) and the National Human Rights Commission and the Office of the MDG amongst

others.



WACOL WILL HOLD HER NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON CEDAW AND ACOUNTABILITY TO GENDER EQUALITY IN NIGERIA

AT : GUBABI ROYAL HOTEL ABUJA

DATE: 12TH – 16TH MARCH 2008

TIME: 9AM DAILY

CEDAW AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO GENDER EQUALITY IN NIGERIA
Background
International human rights instruments impose a duty on state parties to guarantee equality of rights instruments between women and men. However, women’s and girls human rights continue to be widely violated, and they face different forms of discrimination and disadvantage at different stages in the life cycle. Ensuring Government accountability to women’s right under United Nations Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at national and local levels would involve a gender responsive: (a) planning, programming and budgeting, and (b) implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Nigeria government ratified CEDAW in 1985 and has been relatively regular in submissions of reports to the Committee on CEDAW. However, in reality not much has been achieved in improving the status of women de jure and de facto. Gender is yet to be integrated into national planning, budget, government policies and programmes. The government is bound by international agreements to which it is a party and by customary international law to observe the principles of gender equality and non discrimination. WACOL in 2003 during the consideration of Nigeria’s state party report prepared a shadow report in collaboration with about sixty organizations across the country. That report was used in advocacy to the CEDAW Committee and served as a basis for the committee’s engagement with the Nigeria delegation in New York in February 2004. The forthcoming examination of Nigeria’s fifth and sixth country report provides us with yet another opportunity for assessing success and failure with regard to government commitments to implementation of CEDAW, MDG and the Beijing Platform of Action. WACOL will work with local partners and gender focused organizations towards documenting government’s accountability to gender equality and providing same information to the CEDAW Committee during its June 2008 session where Nigeria’s report is slated for consideration. This documentation will be in form of an ‘Alternative Report’. The process would involve considerable funding to consult widely and validate whatever is finally documented before publication and distribution to CEDAW Committee members.


The framework for analysis will be based on the following working paper series to be developed with project consultants/experts and resource persons:

  • Constitutional and legal framework for accountability by state party under CEDAW;
  • Judicial Decisions relevant to rights protected under CEDAW( Discuss judicial decisions on women’s rights in general and assess whether they give effect to CEDAW provisions or undermine State Party Responsibility);
  • Domestication of CEDAW: Process, Challenges and Prospects;
  • Institutional Mechanism for Accountability (FMWA, NCWD and the State Ministries of Women Affairs- their action towards CEDAW Implementation including a discussion of the new gender policy.
  • Does Gender Count in Macroeconomic Framework in Nigeria (NEEDS/SEEDS/LEEDS/MDGs)? This working paper should do a gender status analysis and give some concrete examples of policies and programmes where gender has been mainstreamed or not mainstreamed as required by CEDAW or the Beijing Platform of Action and importantly considerfinancing gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Gender Responsive budgeting as an accountability mechanism (Use past and current national budgets as evidence based information to show government commitment or lack of it to gender equality and women’s rights)
  • Women in Power and decision making linking CEDAW Implementation on Political Affirmative Action to Beijing Platform of Action and MDGs goal 3, usually measured by the proportion of seats women occupy in the National Parliament.
  • Gender Factors in Education and Health Systems Reforms in Nigeria
  • Role of Non State Actors in Implementation of CEDAW (examine corporate responsibilities- actions and inactions that promote or undermine the tenets of CEDAW. An example of positive action may be Access Bank /UBA initiative of credit line to women will be examined in particular reference to Article 13 and 14 of CEDAW.
  • Environment and gender issues in particular climate change and women; Water, Sanitation as it affects the female gender in Nigeria; Energy Crisis: Women and environment; Housing/shelter and the female gender.

These papers will form a think piece for us to discuss at the National Stakeholders workshop about what is working well and what is not working well? Assess the extent of government’s accountability and document same; articulating strategies and action for holding state accountable for its commitment under CEDAW. Furthermore, the responsibility of non- state actors in implementation of CEDAW will be assessed.

Purpose
1. To produce an alternative report on CEDAW and Government Accountability to gender equality that will be used for constructive engagement of the UN Committee on CEDAW during June 2008 presentation of Nigeria’s State Party report.

Intermediate Objectives:

  • To facilitate involvement of gender specific organizations and gender activists participation in developing an ‘Alternative Report’ on CEDAW;
  • To organize a national and regional stakeholders forum to make inputs and validate the alternative report;
  • To use the CEDAW Accountability report to engage and influence policy makers in Nigeria;
  • To share and disseminate the report to the CEDAW Committee during their June New York session and prior to examination of Nigeria’s state party report;

Outputs:

  • Produced Alternative report on CEDAW Accountability
  • Formal engagement with the UN CEDAW Committee
  • Gender Equality advanced.

 

Methodology

  1. The project will organize and engage with stakeholders at different levels through national and zonal workshops to ensure inclusion of vital voices from gender specific groups and women activists;
  2. The project will engage experts to develop working paper series in about six major thematic focus listed above and that will be used as a think piece and background information for constructive dialogue at the report writing stage;
  3. Participatory learning action will be used to ensure full involvement of the participants in the collation and documentation of materials and the actual writing of the report; Using working group shared along thematic interest will ensure that everyone participates;
  4. Facilitate a Policy Oriented Workshop for Dissemination of Report for 30 legislators/Media Executives and selected policy makers at relevant line Ministries Including the National Planning Commission at Abuja;
  5. The draft alternative report will be peer reviewed and final revision done before publication;
  6. The developed Alternative Report will be published and used in engaging the UN CEDAW Committee in its June session where Nigeria’s State Party report will be considered;

Description of Activities:
Discussed below are activities to be carried out by WACOL and its implementing partners in relation to programmatic action of this project namely: Developing the CEDAW Alternative Report

We have mapped out five activities for the process after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.

1.0. Alternative CEDAW Report: CEDAW & Government Accountability to Gender Equality
1.1. National Stakeholders Forum: This is proposed as a three full day multi level stakeholders meeting in Abuja for about 45 participants across the country with representation from at least each state of the federation to consider the 5th and 6th country report, make inputs into the process of writing the alternative report to CEDAW. Participants/Stakeholders will include: Gender focused organizations operating at State/National Level, Gender experts that will be used as resource persons/facilitators. They will also produce working paper series in already identified thematic areas that will form think piece for our discussion. The participants will be shared into working groups and will in the process examine in-depth issues that will form the report and the final plenary session on the last day will be to validate various working group reports and identify groups that will facilitate the zonal/regional engagements among the attendees.
1.2. One Day Zonal Consultations/Roundtable to Validate Report
Following the national stakeholders forum a report will be produced and this report will be used to dialogue at zonal level with state and local based NGOS/CBOS to ensure that their voice are heard and inputs included in the final report. Further, this process has become necessary since many organizations will not have the opportunity to participate at the national level report writing stakeholders’ workshop. The zonal workshop will be a one day event and in some case will run simultaneously.

    • Final Peer Review & Publication (Enugu)

This will be a meeting of not more than ten made up of zonal representatives across the country and four main experts working with the project team. This process will put final touches, revise and edit as necessary to bring the entire report in a reader friendly manner and importantly

 


1.5 Trip to New York to Present/Launch the report- WACOL/HBF Washington (Provision of funding for travels of four persons from Nigeria)
This Alternative report in response to Nigeria’s government 5th and 6th country report will be meaningless if we fail to use to engage with the members of the Committee that is charged with implementation of CEDAW. It is this committee that is empowered to interrogate the government and importantly make suggestions on what they need to address to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Therefore, we propose a delegation to New York with support of HBF and also a side


  • Computer Training
    Group participants at an ICT Training session
  • Nsukka Training
    One of the best participants
  • Agwu Training
    Long view of participants of @ the Agwu Training.
  • Nsukka Training
    The Three best participants @ the Nsukka Training.
  • ICT Training
    One of our Staff Introducing participants to the Use of Computer

 

NETWORKING


Networking

WACOL networks with like-minded CSOs/NGOs and serveas South-East Secretariat for the following:

 

National Coalition on Violence Against Women
Partners for Peace Advocacy and Good Governance (PAPAGG)
South-East Women Caucus/Network
Enugu State Women Coalition
Electoral Reform Network (ERN)
TGM-Transition Monitoring Group
CISCGHAN (Civil Society Consultative Group on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria)
ESCCHA (Enugu State Coalition of Civil Societies on HIV/AIDS)
LACVAN (Legislative Advocacy Coalition on Violence Against Women)


 

Networking:
WACOL networks with like minded CSOs/NGOs and serve as south-East Secretariat for the following:
National Coalition on Violence Against Women,
Partners for peace Advocacy and Good Governance (PAPAGG)
South –East Women Caucus/Network, Enugu State Women Coalition.
Coordinates a regional Network for the Promotion of Women’s Right in Islamic Societies of West Africa and maintains a web-based network called WISWA.


 

About Author: Wacol

Tamar SARC-WACOL Hotlines: +234-9091333000 or +234-9092777000 email: tamarsarc@wacolnigeria.org