The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme mobilised a wide range of stakeholders to participate in activities to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Notable among activities organised by stakeholders with the support of MCN Programme are the following:
In Yobe State, Bade Emirate Council organised a sensitisation event to increase awareness on rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the council area. The event, held on 5 December 2020, was organised in conjunction with the State Ministry of Women Affairs. The sensitisation stemmed from concerns by stakeholders about rising cases of SGBV involving young boys. One of the major achievements was the announcement by HRH Alhaji Abubakar Umar Suleiman, Emir of Bade, on the establishment of the ‘Movement Against Sexual Abuse’ foundation he was dedicating to fight SGBV.
MCN supported the Yobe State SARC Steering Committee to convene a dialogue on access to justice for survivors of SGBV. The dialogue, which was held in Damaturu on 2 December 2020, discussed the different factors undermining efforts to get justice for survivors of SGBV and their families. Notable among participants at the event were the Chief Registrar of the Sharia Court, the State Police Force Public Relations Officer, the Director of Public Prosecution of the Ministry of Justice, the Director at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA).
MCN collaborated with the Spotlight Programme to organise a capacity building programme for social media influencers in Damaturu on 2 December 2020. Social media enthusiasts were trained on how to use their platforms to raise awareness on the significance of 16 Days of Activism campaign, stimulate conversations on sexual offences, and the opportunities for using social media platforms for reporting and responding to incidences.
In Adamawa State, the Humanitarian Innovation Foundation (HIF), with the support of MCN, organised a social media rally to raise awareness on SGBV on various social media platforms. The rally culminated in the engagement of influencers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to post messages SGBV awareness as well as activists marking the 16 days of activism. Influencers were presented with ‘Orange the world’ gift boxes as part of the rally.
HIF organised a quiz competition for secondary students from selected schools in Adamawa State. Forty-eight (48) students and 32 teachers participated in the quiz competition that also provided an opportunity to raise awareness on SGBV and the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Students are one of the groups most at risk of sexual violence. The quiz tested the knowledge of students on different types of sexual offences, the dangers of culture of silence, the channels for reporting SGBV, and how to support those affected.
After the four rounds, students from the Federal Government College in Yola emerged victorious and along with the first and second runners up, received prizes at the closing ceremony on 10 December 2020. During the closing event, the students joined the campaign against SGBV by sending group messages that were disseminated on social media platforms.
HIF organised a rally of civil society organisations and human rights activists to the Adamawa State House of Assembly to sensitise them on the rising incidences of sexual and gender-based violence and the need for laws that impose stiffer penalties for sexual offenders. The rally was well received by the legislature, which opted to wear orange-coloured clothes in solidarity with the 16 days of activism. Rt Hon. Aminu Iya Abubakar, speaker of the House of Assembly, assured the rally that the Assembly will soon pass the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill into law.
Over 50 participants featured in a webinar organised by HIF to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism on SGBV on 7 December 2020. The participants discussed the actions required to tackle rising incidence of SGBV. Leaders from religious and traditional authorities highlighted the need to address the culture of silence; enhance the capacity of law enforcement and the courts to prosecute sexual offences; enact unambiguous laws that allow for stiffer penalties required to deter offenders; and ensure accountability of governments on addressing drivers of SGBV.
Prominent speakers at the webinar included Dr. Hamira Welye of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Kiki Mordi author of the BBC award-winning documentary on sexual violence in tertiary institutions (Sex for Grade), Farida Adamu of ResearchNG, Asmau Leo of Centre for Nonviolence and Gender Advocacy in Nigeria, and Joy Aderele of Mercy Corps.
In Borno State, the Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment (PACHAE) organised a webinar on protection of survivors and access to justice on 8 December 2020. The webinar provided an opportunity to highlight the different challenges encountered in efforts to protect and support survivors to get justice. Prominent among issues to be addressed are late reporting of cases, lack of resources for effective investigation, dearth of safe spaces for survivors, and loopholes in laws and legal processes.
Speakers at the webinar were Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Zainab Chellube of the Peace Ambassadors Centre, Mary Stephen, Gender Desk Officer of Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Barr. Abba Mallam Umate, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).