POLICY BRIEF: ENDING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

Communications January 25, 2021 0

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

Project Brief: Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spendings

Communications January 25, 2021 0

...addressing the accompanying corrupt practices.

The cross-sectoral bedrock and foundation for the crippling state of the education, healthcare, and WASH sectors in Nigeria can be attributed to institutional corruption, poor accountability and bad governance. The lack of accountability and transparency of budgeted funds allocated to these sectors through constituency projects, continue to be the reason residents suffer unjustly and are able to achieve their full potentials. Constituency projects were established to address infrastructure gaps of local communities such as the provision of standard primary healthcare, schools & learning facilities, adequate drinking water, etc. Often times, the funds for these projects’ are siphoned by elected representatives and lawmakers.

In addition, on the demand side, citizens are disinterested in providing oversight on government budgeting, spending, policies and activities including expenditure under constituency projects. This reluctance follows years of contractual abuse, corrupt practices and lack of trust in governance. Citizens have little or no information about budget allocations and many times, the constituency projects rarely reflect their needs and priorities. Also, there exists a huge gender gap in the decision-making process at all the levels of governance in Nigeria and in engaging the government on developmental issues affecting their communities. Even when making demands for accountability, and dividends of democracy, such gender disparity often exists.

To address this, Follow The Money (FTM) is leveraging its expertise on community empowerment and engagement, multi-stakeholder dialogues’ platform facilitation to mobilize and empower community governance structures and FTM champions. The model will identify and effectively provide oversight on social projects like the constituency projects’ implementation in their respective communities and enhance the capabilities of anti-corruption agencies.

Through effective collaborations and information sharing, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the media and investigative journalists on contractual abuse, evidence regarding the poor implementation of social projects. Community members would be mobilized and empowered to create demands that ensure that such projects reflect the needs of marginalized groups including seeing the needs through  gender lenses. The creation of effective linkages between communities and government MDAs/legislators for gender mainstreamed service delivery on constituency projects’ implementation, has become expedient.